Higher Education and Human Resources

College hires dean of libraries

March 17, 2017
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Annie Belanger
Annie Bélanger. Courtesy GVSU

A local college has named its next dean of university libraries.

Grand Valley State University said this winter it hired Annie Bélanger for the post, effective June 5.

She replaces Lee Van Orsdel, who served in the role for 11 years and retired in December.

Bélanger is currently associate university librarian of information resources and academic excellence at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario.

Bélanger’s responsibilities as dean of university libraries will focus mainly on strategic leadership.

“Overall, it (will be) providing strategic leadership for university libraries at scale, as well as program and resource development, the university’s curriculum and resources and partnerships with the academic community, as well as the surrounding communities to better meet the needs of the students,” Bélanger said.

She said she’s looking forward to her new position at GVSU.

“Grand Valley and university libraries breathe student focus — a quality that is very important to me in a higher education setting,” Bélanger said. “Dean Lee Van Orsdel has led a tremendous transformation and developed a very innovative, strong and vibrant team.

“I seek to honor the culture that has been created and collaboratively lead the next evolution for university libraries by building on its strong campus integration.”

Bélanger’s background

Prior to her various posts at the University of Waterloo, Bélanger held a variety of positions: consultant and information architecture specialist at OpenText Corp. in Waterloo; head of public services development at New Brunswick Public Library Service; bilingual information and research associate at Deloitte & Touche in Toronto; and project assistant on the INet team at the House of Commons.

She holds a master’s degree in library and information sciences from the University of Western Ontario and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from York University.

Earlier in her schooling, Bélanger spent the last two years of high school on the east side of the state in Rochester.

In the community

While she’s currently a member of the TriUniversity Libraries Group in Waterloo, Canadian Research Knowledge Network and Association of Research Libraries, which is North America-wide, Bélanger said she hopes to adjust in West Michigan by volunteering for community organizations.

“I certainly look forward to integrating into the area and some of the beautiful resources the region offers, naturally as well as culturally,” Bélanger said. “I foresee my eldest transferring into hockey, and I’ll be supporting her at that. I’ve been involved at the school board at my children’s school.

“Previously, I participated in accessibility advocacy and some inclusion work. I’d also like to be part of the public library board to get to know some of the community’s business leaders.”


Grand Valley State University’s main campus is situated on 1,322 acres in Allendale.

Classes are also offered at the university’s Robert C. Pew campus in downtown Grand Rapids and Meijer campus in Holland.

The school, founded in 1960, offers 88 undergraduate degrees and 37 graduate degrees.

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