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Alum Winston Tabb Nominated by Obama

February 3, 2010

President Barack Obama recently nominated Oklahoma Baptist University alumnus Winston Tabb to serve as a member on the National Museum and Library Services Board according to a statement released by the White House. The nomination requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.

Tabb serves as dean of university libraries and museums at Johns Hopkins University. He oversees all of the university's libraries and the university's two museums, Homewood Museum and Evergreen Museum. If confirmed by the Senate, Tabb would join 19 other presidentially appointed members who advise the Institute of Museum and Library Services on policy and practice.

"I feel very honored both for myself and for Johns Hopkins, which has given me the fairly unusual responsibility for overseeing both its libraries and museums," Tabb said. "It will also be rewarding - if I am confirmed by the Senate - to be returning to public service, after 30 years at the Library of Congress, albeit in an advisory rather than full-time role. Libraries and museums are America's most important cultural memory institutions; we need them to be strong, vibrant and effective."

The National Museum and Library Services Board is the advisory body for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute works to create strong libraries and museums through programming at the national level. Board members are presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed members of the general public who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services.

A native of Tulsa, Okla., Tabb graduated from the OBU in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in English. His wife, Marilyn, graduated from OBU in 1965 with a degree in piano performance. Tabb attended Harvard University as a Woodrow Wilson fellow, earning a master's degree before serving in the U.S. Army as an instructor of English in Thailand. He earned his degree in library science from Simmons College in 1972 and was one of six outstanding graduates recruited that year to join the professional staff of the Library of Congress.

Before going to Johns Hopkins in 2002, Tabb had been at the Library of Congress since 1972, in a variety of roles. As associate librarian since 1992, he had managed 53 of the library's divisions and offices with more than 2,400 employees. Within his areas of responsibility were cataloging, circulation, the reading rooms, special collections, archives, preservation and the presentation of digital materials online.

Tabb became Sheridan Dean of University Libraries at Johns Hopkins and director of the Sheridan Libraries in September 2002.

As dean of the libraries, Tabb directs the integration of new information technologies throughout the university's libraries and, as head of the University Libraries Council, leads and coordinates Johns Hopkins' entire system of libraries, which includes the Welch Medical Library and its satellite libraries; the Mason Library at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.; the Friedheim Library at the Peabody Conservatory; and libraries at the Johns Hopkins regional campuses and centers for part-time study in Washington, D.C.; Rockville, Md.; Columbia, Md.; and downtown Baltimore.

He also is director of the Sheridan Libraries, which include the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at the Homewood campus; the George Peabody Library at Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore; the John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen Museum & Library; and the Hutzler Undergraduate Reading Room at Homewood.

Tabb also is dean of the university's museums, overseeing Homewood Museum and Evergreen Museum and Library. Both are open to the public for tours, arts exhibitions, concerts and other events, and both are also increasingly involved in the academic life of the university.

In July 2006, Tabb was appointed for a two-year term to the additional university-wide role of vice provost for the arts. In that position, he oversaw the implementation of the recommendations of the Homewood Arts Task Force, which he chaired, and coordinated efforts to extend its work across the university. Tabb also was charged with developing a strategy for funding arts initiatives and with building relationships with arts organizations in the greater Baltimore community.