Campus News

María Estorino named University librarian

The new vice provost for University Libraries has built a robust fellowships program and collaborations with N.C. communities.

Maria Estorino
Maria Estorino (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

María R. Estorino has been appointed vice provost for University Libraries and University librarian, effective Jan. 30, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Provost and Chief Academic Officer J. Christopher Clemens announced in a campus message Jan. 26. She has held the role in an interim capacity since May and will continue to provide collaborative and community-focused leadership on campus.

Estorino has been a leader in academic libraries for more than 20 years. She joined the University Libraries in 2017 as associate University librarian for special collections and director of the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library. In that role, she was a member of the University Libraries’ leadership team, with a focus on expanding and advancing the work of Carolina’s outstanding special collections.

“One of María’s signature initiatives is the development of a robust and growing fellowships program to support undergraduates, graduate students and faculty and community researchers in their scholarly and creative uses of special collections at Carolina,” the message continued. “To date, the program has made 109 awards to fellows from almost 60 universities.”

Estorino also has a distinguished record of attracting grant and gift support for the work of the University Libraries, most recently as part of a $2 million endowment and challenge match from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

Estorino has been instrumental in cultivating partnerships across the University community, including spearheading University Library’s collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences and Carolina Performing Arts on the Southern Futures initiative. She is a member of the Campus Arts Council, the Carolina Engagement Council, the advisory boards for the Research Labs of Archaeology and the Center for Faculty Excellence, and the Board of Governors of the UNC Press. Her professional service includes the Program Steering Committee of the HathiTrust Digital Library and the Advisory Committee of the Triangle Research Libraries Network. In the community, she has served on the Strategic Planning Steering Committee for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools and the board of Orange Literacy.

Estorino is a strong advocate for accessibility in libraries and has worked to build expansive and inclusive collaborations with North Carolina communities. She has helped special collections units refine their vision for rare and archival collections to broaden representation of the many cultures and communities that make up the state of North Carolina. She has also provided leadership on the advisory committee for the Association of Research Libraries’ Kaleidoscope Program and the Society of American Archivists Diversity Committee and Mosaic Program Task Force.

Before coming to Carolina, Estorino was vice president of museum collections at HistoryMiami Museum in Florida. Prior to that, she spent 14 years in positions of increasing responsibility at the University of Miami Libraries, concluding as the Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection.

“Carolina’s libraries are where the values and mission of the University meet the ambitions and dreams of every Tar Heel,” Estorino said. “As we look ahead to celebrating the University Libraries’ centennial in 2029, I am eager to work together with our community to create a dynamic and inclusive vision for our next century.”

In the message, Guskiewicz and Clemens thanked Gary Marchionini, dean and Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor at the School of Information and Library Science, who chaired the search committee and its members for their work to identify Estorino as the leading candidate.

“We are confident that under her leadership the University Libraries will continue to grow as a vibrant center for learning, research and collaboration,” they wrote.