University Librarian and Dean of Libraries

University Librarian’s Office, 499 Wilson Library

Lisa A. German

Lisa A. German is University Librarian and Dean of Libraries at the University of Minnesota Libraries. The University Libraries system encompasses 12 libraries on the Twin Cities campus, historically rich collections, and nationally recognized model programs in technology development, information literacy, and new models for scholarly communication.

German has over 25 years of experience in leadership of academic libraries. Before joining the University of Minnesota, she served as Dean of Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell Chair at the University of Houston Libraries, and has held leadership positions at Penn State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Wright State University. She joined the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in February 2020.

Accomplishments at University of Houston

As dean of libraries for the University of Houston’s research library system, German led the development of a strategic plan emphasizing research productivity, student success, and the quality and relevance of collections for campus and global communities. This was paired with a related plan focused on diversity and inclusion.

Her many other accomplishments at UH include:

  • Creation of a Digital Research Commons supporting faculty and student research in the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences
  • Expansion of special collections and research services
  • Successful fundraising efforts
  • The opening of a new Health Sciences Library
  • Leadership in the development of a university-wide Open Educational Resources program.

A national leader

Engaged nationally as an academic library leader, German recently led strategic planning for the Greater Western Library Alliance, a consortium of 39 research libraries across the United States. She has been active in the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, has been a member of the editorial board for its peer-reviewed journal, and has served as a mentor for the Association of Research Libraries Leadership Fellows Program, having been part of its inaugural cohort earlier in her career. Within the Big Ten Academic Alliance, she has been involved in collaborations related to acquisitions, collections, and technology.

German is active in professional service at the university, regional, and national levels, having chaired a number of committees on various aspects of acquisitions and technical services. She has served on several editorial and advisory boards, including a current appointment for Library Resources and Technical Services.

Expertise spans collections, assessment, strategy, and more

Notable for her expertise in collections, technical services, organizational and workflow assessment, as well as strategy, German has been a sought-after consultant to academic research libraries on an international scale. Recognized for her contributions to the advancement of the profession, German is the recipient of several awards from the University of Illinois and the American Library Association (ALA) – Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). She is a member of several national organizations, including ALA and ALCTS. She holds a Master of Science in library and information science and a Bachelor of Arts in history, both from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

German has widely published and presented in the areas of library collections, management, planning, policy development, implementation and assessment. She is co-author of the 2013 book, SPEC Kit 339: Innovation and R&D in Libraries, an examination of the role of research libraries in the strategic advancement of innovative measures.


University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

BA, History
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign