Organizational Charts & Biographies

Dean, Libraries - Bella Karr Gerlich
Phone: 907.474.7224 Fax: 907.474.6841

Dean of Libraries
University of Alaska Fairbanks
433 Rasmuson Library
P.O. Box 756800
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775

Dr. Bella Karr Gerlich has been with the university since 2011. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Masters of Public Management from Carnegie Mellon University and holds a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006, where she taught management courses for the School of Information Science MLIS program.  She draws experience from prior appointments as University Librarian at Dominican University, Associate University Librarian at Georgia College & State University and Head of Arts & Special Collections at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Gerlich oversees all aspects of the Libraries’ academic and administrative programs and services, is an advisor to the UAF rural campuses, and fosters state, national and international partnerships for the Libraries. 

Dr. Gerlich is active in the profession, serving in committee and leadership positions at the local, state and national levels. Dr. Gerlich is an active researcher; her interests include assessment, organizational behavior and valuation of services. She has authored / co-authored a number of peer-reviewed publications, is a frequent guest lecturer, presents at professional venues both in the U.S. and abroad and enjoys mentoring students. Dr. Gerlich is a member of ALA, ACRL, LLAMA and AkLA; she is on the board of the Alaska Library Network and was appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council on Libraries.

As both administrator and researcher, Dr. Gerlich has worked to identify, quantify and acknowledge the hidden work done by library staff through the development of a qualitative data-gathering methodology that can be normalized across institutions. Dr. Gerlich created the READ Scale (Reference Effort Assessment Data -, a 1 - 6 scale for recording the effort, knowledge, skill, and teaching that occur during reference transactions. More than 200 libraries worldwide have self-identified their use of the tool, which has been incorporated in vendors Springshare (LibAnalytics) and Compendium LLC (Desk Tracker) data analysis products. The Scale was included in ‘Implementing and Inclusive Staffing Model for 21st Century Reference Services: A Practical Guide’ by Julia Nims, and an article co-authored with G. Lynn Berard “Testing the Viability of the READ Scale: Qualitative Statistics for Academic Reference Services” was selected for inclusion in the Reference Research Review for 2010, an annual bibliography that focuses on annotating items of importance to the practice of reference. The READ Scale is featured on the Medical Library Association website and has been the subject of numerous presentations by professionals in the field.  In addition to ongoing promotion of the READ Scale, Dr. Gerlich’s current research agenda includes collaboration with other libraries to test her LEAD Scale (Library Effort Assessment Data) that evolves the 1 – 6 scale tool beyond reference transactions to record qualitative data across all library work functions.

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