December 16, 2020 Library of Congress Appoints New Chief of Research and Reference Services Division

Press Contact: Leah Knobel
Website: Researcher and Reference Services Division

Dennis Clark will lead the Researcher and Reference Services Division.

The Library of Congress has appointed Dennis Clark as chief of the Research and Reference Services Division. Clark brings more than 22 years’ experience as an administrator and librarian to the Library, where he will lead public research services, onsite and online user engagement and the development of the majority of the 30 million items in the Library’s General Collections.

Clark has been responsible for a wide variety of research and reference programs and services. Clark currently serves as dean of libraries and professor at the University of Arkansas, where he oversees a library system consisting of six facilities, including a state-of-the-art library storage facility and a $25 million renovation of the main library. Clark led the university’s library system through the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing access to e-resources and responding to the digital divide across the student body.

“Dennis arrives at a time when we are expanding access and enhancing services in ways that are both user-centered and digitally-enabled,” said Eugene Flanagan, director of General and International Collections. “His track record of transformational leadership, combined with a depth and breadth of experience in reference, collections management, technical services and e-resources, will be instrumental in shaping the Library’s approach to providing access and service to more users.”

Previously, Clark served as associate university librarian for research, learning and spaces at the University of Virginia (2017-2019), and was associate university librarian for research and learning at Virginia Commonwealth University (2011-2017). During Clark’s tenure, Virginia Commonwealth University was invited to join the Association of Research Libraries, the first U.S. institution to receive an invitation in 15 years.

Prior to these roles, Clark served as the head of public and research services and associate professor at Texas A&M University (2005-2011).

Clark holds a Bachelor of Arts in music from Samford University, a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Alabama and has completed coursework toward a doctorate of education at Vanderbilt University.

An active member in the academic community, Clark was selected as an Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellow in 2016 and is a member of the American Library Association. Many of his publications focus on the accessibility of e-resources, including “Assessing an E-Reader Lending Program: From Pilot to Mainstream Service” and “Evolution of Electronic Resources Support: Is Virtual Reference the Answer?”

“I’m thrilled to join the Library of Congress at this crucial time,” Clark said. “Dr. Hayden’s vision to ‘put users first’ is particularly inspiring as the pandemic has changed the ways researchers connect with cultural institutions like the Library.”

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at



PR 20-084
ISSN 0731-3527