Karen Bjork joined VCU Libraries in March 2023 to head a new department. The new Digital Libraries and Publishing Department, which was formally established upon her arrival, was formed through the merger of two existing functional units in the Scholarly Communications and Publishing division. The department is responsible for digital collections and digitization; library publishing; institutional repository services; and open and affordable course content.
As Head, Bjork provides vision and strategic direction for these programs in collaboration with members of the department and a wide group of internal and external stakeholders.
Bjork came to VCU from Portland State University, where she worked since 2011. There, she took on progressively more responsibilities as Head of Digital Initiatives in 2015 and as the Head of Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Publishing in 2020. From 2021 to 2023, she headed two departments, Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Publishing and Cataloging & eAccess, where she supervised and administered day-to-day operations in electronic resource management, cataloging, and institutional repository management. In all of these roles, she provided leadership to campus-wide initiatives that advanced equitable and affordable access to information, research, data, and educational resources.
Prior to her appointment at Portland State University, she was Digital Initiatives Librarian at North Dakota State University Libraries and Government Records Archivist at Montana Historical Society Research Center.
Active in the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC), Bjork served on the LPC Board from 2019-2022 and currently serves as Chair of the LPC Research Committee.
- Bachelor of Arts, Honours, History, University of Wollongong, Australia
- Master of Library and Information Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
- Master of Arts, History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee