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Jill Morris Named Next Executive Director of PALCI

The PALCI [Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc] Board of Directors is pleased to announce the forthcoming transition of its executive leadership. Cathy Wilt will be succeeded by Jill Morris as Executive Director, effective January 1, 2019. Ms. Wilt will continue in the capacity of PALCI Senior Program Manager through September 2019 when she will retire.

Ms. Wilt joined PALCI as its Executive Director in July 2011 as it shifted its headquarters from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. She has led PALCI in expanding its organization, services, and resources to respond to the challenges all academic libraries face. Her myriad accomplishments include: implementing a virtual office environment; fostering numerous partnerships and conversations across large and small member libraries; and leveraging PALCI’s legacy role of negotiating vendor contracts to ensure broader-than-ever access to the world’s scholarly communications. PALCI’s 68 member libraries across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and West Virginia now have a strong support partnership to serve their combined 808,000 faculty and students.

Prior to joining PALCI, Ms. Wilt served as Director of Library Services and Archives at the Academy of Natural Sciences, President of Lyrasis, and Executive Director & CEO of PALINET. She has served as a tireless advocate for supporting institutions in their mission to provide enduring access to information and knowledge by harnessing their collective strength. Her commitment to this vision and the energy and dedication she has brought to PALCI have significantly advanced the consortium’s member libraries.

Ms. Wilt has offered her retirement at a moment when the Board of Directors can smoothly transition executive leadership. The PALCI Board thanks her for her dedicated service and is very grateful for the many strides PALCI has made during her tenure.

Faced with the challenge of replacing its Executive Director within the coming year, the PALCI Board recognized the best successor is already on staff. Jill Morris, PALCI Associate Director, is a rising star in the world of library cooperation and consortia and is widely recognized for her work in shaping new approaches to digital content licensing for libraries. Her energy, passion and technical insight make her the ideal choice to take on the role of Executive Director for PALCI to build on its strengthened organization and deep collaborations.

Ms. Morris joined PALCI as Senior Program Officer in 2015 and became its Associate Director in 2017. She has successfully led the evolution of PALCI's eBook programs with negotiation of PALCI's first "all-in" deal. Through her leadership in the national and international consortium community, PALCI has received two successive U.S. IMLS grants, securing nearly $300,000 in funding for a multi-consortium project to build an open source usage data harvesting and analysis tool.

Prior to coming to PALCI, Ms. Morris served as Assistant Director and Outreach & Promotions Librarian for NC LIVE, for which she later served as Interim Executive Director. She holds an MS degree in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a BA degree in History and Adolescent Education from SUNY at Geneseo.

As PALCI moves forward with this leadership transition, the Board expects to continue to position PALCI at the leading edge of library consortia. PALCI will model the ways a modern consortium can augment the impact of libraries on the critical need for access and effective use of information.