About Brian Mathews

Brian Mathews is an Associate Dean at Virginia Tech. He brings leadership and strategic vision to the areas of learning spaces, webinteractions, emerging media and technologies, new literacies, user engagement, and experimental pedagogies.

Brian is also an Assistant Director for Virginia Tech’s newly formed Center for Innovation in Learning. And he is a Faculty Fellow for Virginia Tech’s Honors Residential College.

Prior to working at Virginia Tech, Brian was an Assistant University Librarian at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He led the libraries marketing and outreach efforts and was heavily involved with planning for a $67 million library addition and renovation.

Prior to UCSB, Brian worked at Georgia Tech. He started out as a reference and instruction librarian and was a liaison to the College of Computing and Department of Mechanical Engineering. After several years in this role, Brian became the first user experience librarian in the US. This position was a blend of assessment, R&D, marketing, outreach, and design.

Prior to Georgia Tech, Brian worked at the George Washington University as a reference and instruction librarian. He was located at GW’s Science and Technology Campus where his focus was working with graduate students and research labs.

Prior to the George Washington University, Brian worked and attended the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He worked at the UCF Library as a student assistant in the stacks department, a supervisor in the circulation department, and as an assistant in the reference department.

Brian earned a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida, and a double BA in History and English at the University of Central Florida.

His book, Marketing Today’s Academic Library, was published by ALA Editions. Brian has also been a columnist for the Journal of Web Librarianship and American Libraries. His blog, The Ubiquitous Librarian, is hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.


In the 1990’s our focus was getting content and services online. Over the last decade it was rethinking our spaces that became free from the migration to digital. This next decade is about building the library as a platform for scholarship and teaching.

We’re at a critical time in the history of libraries. This next decade is going to be our springboard into what libraries will become. Our future is unknown and we have to accept that.  The one thing that seems certain is that our future is going to exist within a digital landscape, as publishers and scholars are both expressing a preference for electronic information streams.

The focus of my career has been how do we make users more successful. By this I don’t just mean more successful at using the library, but rather, more successful with their projects, programs, and assignments. I am an advocate for user-sensitive librarianship, educational entrepreneurialism, and design thinking.

Curriculum Vitae

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University Libraries
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
P.O. Box 90001
Blacksburg, VA 24062
The Ubiquitous Librarian