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Rockefeller welcomes new librarian, Matthew V. Covey

Matthew V. Covey

Matthew V. Covey

Matthew V. Covey, a biologist and science informationist, assumed the role of university librarian in August, taking over for Carol A. Feltes who retired earlier this year. Prior to joining Rockefeller, he held a similar position at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

Covey brings many years of experience working at the intersection of biology and informatics. After pursuing postdoctoral work in Steve Levison’s lab at Rutgers and in Nurit Ballas’ lab at Stony Brook University, he became interested in the issues surrounding data reuse, data management, and how labs handle the ever-expanding data deluge that modern science generates. Over the past decade, as open-access publishing and data sharing has gained popularity, he decided to the leave the bench to be part of this movement.

Now at Rockefeller, Covey is bringing an inside-out approach to the library’s work. Library staff will increasingly be out on the front lines engaging with scientists, going to group meetings, and helping people in their own labs or offices. “It’s easier for me or the library staff to leave the library and come to you than it is for you to leave the lab,” he says.

He is planning a robust cannon of new training sessions, including some to be held in specific lab groups and others open to the entire community. And he is working to develop better data management and accessibility practices to help Rockefeller scientists meet the requirements of funding agencies and organizations, including the NIH and NSF. “I want the library to be a place people can call on, or go to, for formalized data management advice based on best practices.”

In conjunction with other groups on campus, Covey is also looking forward to putting together a repository to house and preserve the university’s scientific output, including publications and data sets for long-term usability.

“The role of an institutional library has been rapidly evolving and will continue to do so, and it’s important that we are a collaborative resource that helps manage, organize, preserve, and distribute data of all kinds on behalf of the community,” Covey says. “I’m looking forward to helping redefine the role of Rockefeller’s library to ensure it serves the needs of this exceptional community.”