He Will Focus on Creating 'Model Library of 21st Century' Here
by Fernando Quintero
Peter Lyman, former University of Southern California librarian and dean whose cutting-edge research has focused on the impact of computer technology on higher education, will build the "model library of the 21st century" at Berkeley.
Lyman, who began his new appointment as University librarian Nov. 7, is one of the country's first scholars to work with computer companies and other networks to design information technology appropriate for research and teaching.
"Mr. Lyman is one of the leaders in the country working on the future of libraries in the electronic age," said Carol Christ, vice chancellor and provost.
"He is a radical and revolutionary in thinking about libraries and technology, and he's conservative in terms of maintaining our excellent collection and reputation," said Christ.
At USC, Lyman founded the Center for Scholarly Technology, a research and development group that develops software to integrate information technology into research and instruction.
Lyman said he accepted the Berkeley position because the University is the "strategic place to build a worldwide scholarly network.
"I see a world of possibilities at Berkeley. Given the University's excellent reputation and resources, I see it as the place to build the library of the 21st century."
On a personal note, Lyman said his return to Berkeley is a homecoming. As a child, he used to come on campus often to visit his uncle, Professor of Mathematics Frantisek Wolf.
As a graduate student, he recalled going to the main library to do research. "I made it a point to ask for the most esoteric material I could think of, and they would come up with it," he said.
Lyman earned an MA in political science here in 1963. He received a BA in philosophy and PhD in political science from Stanford. At Michigan State, Lyman was professor of political science and has been a visiting professor at Stanford and UC Santa Cruz.
He has published extensively on the way information technologies are changing the form and content of research, publishing, and libraries.
For the time being, Lyman's immediate goals include unpacking, and finishing up "The Silk Route," a book on the ancient trading route between the East and West.