Dr. Robert S. Martin to serve on National Council on the Humanities

President George W. Bush nominated Dr. Robert S. Martin to serve on the National Council on the Humanities, an advisory board to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The nomination has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The National Council on the Humanities is a board of 26 distinguished private citizens appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate who advise the chairman of the NEH. Martin’s service to the board is a six-year term ending January 26, 2012.

“With his impressive accomplishments at the national and international levels, Bob Martin is an excellent fit for this appointment,” said Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, dean of the School of Information and Library Science at UNC at Chapel Hill and founder of the Louis Round Wilson Academy. “He will bring significant expertise and knowledge to the Board as it provides recommendations to the NEH.”

The NEH is an independent grant-making agency that seeks to promote research and the development of programs in humanities throughout the United States, its Web site states.

Created in 1965, the endowment provides the largest amount of funds to humanities programs in the country through grants to pursue its mission of preserving and providing access to cultural resources, education, research and public programs.

Cultural institutions including libraries, universities, museums, media organizations and individuals are recipients of grants from NEH. The NEH aims to fulfill wide-ranging and ambitious goals to:

• Strengthen teaching and learning in the humanities in schools and colleges across the nation

• Facilitate research and original scholarship

• Provide opportunities for lifelong learning

• Preserve and provide access to cultural and educational resources

• Strengthen the institutional base of the humanities

Martin was the first librarian to direct the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS ), “the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.” Under his leadership, the budget for IMLS increased from $232,321,000 to $280,564,000. The agency funded nearly $900 million to libraries and museums across the nation. Martin completed the four-year term as director of IMLS in July 2005. He is currently the Lillian Bradshaw Endowed Chair in Library Science and a professor at Texas Woman’s University. He is also a member of the Louis Round Wilson Academy.

“I am extremely honored to have been nominated to serve on the Council,” said Martin. “The Council plays an indispensable role in the Endowment’s pursuit of excellence in funding projects to enhance access to-and appreciation for-the humanities. I consider it a high privilege to be invited to work with them in this effort. I look forward to working with other members of the Council and the staff of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

Martin’s service extends to the Executive Committee of the U.S. Commission on UNESCO where he is as an active member. He was recognized as a 2005 distinguished fellow by the Council on Library and Information Resources, and he recently received special recognition for 25 years of service at the National Arts Awards from the Americans for the Arts organization. Martin is special advisor to the president of OCLC for cultural heritage institutions. He has served on seven editorial boards including Libraries and Culture, Library Quarterly, American Archivist, and the College and Research Libraries News.