W. David Penniman Joins Nylink As Executive Director


ALBANY, N.Y., October 4, 2007 - W. David Penniman, Ph.D, has joined Nylink as Executive Director of the nonprofit membership organization serving libraries and cultural heritage institutions in New York State and surrounding areas. He succeeds Mary-Alice Lynch who retired as Nylink Executive Director in January 2007. Kathleen Gundrum, Director of Member Services, served as Interim Executive Director during the transition.

Dr. Penniman most recently held tenured academic appointments as well as administrative positions at the University at Buffalo and the University of Tennessee in the areas of communication and information science. Prior to that, he served as president and CEO of the Council on Library and Information Resources, was a director at AT&T Bell Laboratories in charge of internal information systems including a large automated library network, and was Vice President for Planning and Research at OCLC. 

In addition, Dr. Penniman has been a consultant to senior management of information services organizations and special libraries in the areas of strategic planning, cost/benefit analysis (including return-on-investment studies), knowledge management support systems, information service design and evaluation (including facilities evaluation), benchmarking and modeling of services and staffing, and quality metrics. He holds a doctorate in communication theory from Ohio State University.

His professional activities include previous service as Chairman of the Board of Engineering Information, Inc.; president of the Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T); and a member of the board of advisors for the Getty Information Institute. In addition to membership in ASIS&T, he is a senior member of the IEEE and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Regarding his new role as Nylink’s Executive Director, Dr. Penniman stated: “Nylink is an exciting organization with an impressively diverse membership. I look forward to working with the variety of libraries and cultural heritage institutions currently served as well as adding new organizations and exploring new services. This will be a challenging time for us all, and I am proud to have been chosen to lead Nylink at this stage in its growth.”

Selection of the new Executive Director was conducted by a panel representing Nylink’s membership as well as the Office of the Provost, State University of New York (SUNY), of which Nylink is an administrative unit. 

Dr. Harold Silverman, Senior Vice Provost at SUNY, commented on the outcome of the Executive Director search: “Dr. Penniman's experiences are remarkably matched with the function of Nylink. He understands library service organizations, and has even served previously as an officer for one with which Nylink interacts most closely. He has an excellent understanding of modern libraries and knowledge storage and dissemination. We are fortunate to find this combination in one person, especially one who is very familiar with New York's great opportunities and challenges.”

These comments were echoed by Julie Cunningham, Chief Librarian, Mina Rees Library, Graduate Center, City University of New York, who served as search committee chair and is also a member of the Nylink Council advisory board: "The Search Committee was keenly aware of how important the selection of the new Executive Director would be to Nylink's continued success. As we worked toward picking the finalists, Dr. Penniman's accomplishments in a variety of academic, library and corporate environments and his vision for developing a sound path to the future clearly identified him as our preferred first choice.” 

Ms. Cunningham also acknowledged Kathleen Gundrum’s role during the transition: “As a member of Nylink Council, I would also like to offer my thanks to Kathleen Gundrum who has served so ably as Nylink's Interim Executive Director during these past eight months. Kathy provided the necessary leadership to not only keep the ship afloat, but to sail Nylink through some rough seas. In the midst of that, she was also an invaluable support to the work of the Nylink Executive Director Search Committee."

About Nylink

Nylink, based in Albany, New York, is a nonprofit membership organization of all types of libraries and information organizations throughout New York State and surrounding areas. Nylink offers training, support and consulting services to libraries and cultural heritage organizations, creates group purchasing opportunities for cost-effective access to electronic resources, facilitates access to and supports OCLC services, and administers LAND, a statewide ground delivery service. Nylink is administered through the Provost's Office of the State University of New York. For more information, visit http://nylink.org