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CRRA Announces the Retirement of Jennifer Younger, Executive Director

As the Chair of the Board of CRRA, I write to share news that Jennifer Younger, Executive Director of CRRA, has decided to retire this summer.  After serving our organization with distinction for over ten years, Jennifer will be  greatly missed by all of us.

Jennifer's exceptional service to CRRA began in 2010.  She took on the role as Executive Director after serving as the Edward H. Arnold Director of Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana.  In addition to taking on many key challenges during her tenure, Jennifer was instrumental in the development of the Catholic Newspapers Program and the opening of the Catholic News Archive in 2016.

Over her ten plus years, Jennifer has had a significant impact on the growth of CRRA.  Early on, Jennifer led CRRA in expanding our potential through membership growth and incorporation, encouraging our first strategic planning initiative and supporting the development of services that let us accomplish more together than any of us could on our own.  In addition to expanding the Catholic portal to include materials in special and archival collections from 34 academic libraries, diocesan and religious organizations' archives, and migration to a new hosting platform, she expanded membership opportunities for religious congregations and a global network of partners.  She brought in grants that helped support the digitization of Catholic newspapers, often in collaboration with member institutions, helped redesign the website, implemented the resource sharing forum, and built the partnership with Capitol Hill Management Services, which brought in financial and administrative expertise as well as valuable business continuity.

Jennifer has been a part of CRRA from the start.  Her commitment to member leadership and organizational skills were critical to empowering the expertise and dedication of committee members that made our achievements possible.  Jennifer said, "Members and partners are the lifeblood of CRRA. I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve them. Together we have made an impact in supporting teaching and research around the world. It’s been a wonderful time and I will greatly miss my friends and colleagues. I look forward to supporting the CRRA of the future."

Choosing to not be an island, Jennifer engaged and collaborated with professional associations such as the Catholic Library Association, Atla, and the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, as well as Catholic newspaper publishers.  Jennifer engaged with members to build our community at symposiums held at member campuses, and co-hosting annual meetings often with members.  These efforts and events brought together CRRA members and partners, scholars, librarians and archivists from other institutions, so critical in her view to building community among those with shared interests.  Whether exploring new opportunities, opening doors for new partnerships, developing meeting programs, supporting committees in developing new services, or talking with members, she was fully engaged with colleagues in listening, learning and taking action.  She brought boundless enthusiasm and energy to all that she did.   

We are grateful to Jennifer for all that she has accomplished.  She has been an extraordinary colleague and her work will continue to benefit CRRA and its members long after she has moved on to other interesting endeavors.  We are preparing to launch a search for a new Executive Director very soon, and will be inviting key members of our community to be part of the search committee.  It is our hope to find a person who sees the vision of CRRA and is able to move it forward to build on the exemplary work already done.  Please join me in recognizing all that Jennifer has done and congratulating her on all of her accomplishments.  We look forward to celebrating Jennifer during the next several months before her retirement commences.

Mark E. Shelton
CRRA Board Chair and Director of Library Services, College of the Holy Cross

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