K. Matthew Dames has been involved with the information and media industries for nearly four decades as a lawyer, librarian, journalist, professor, author, publisher, musician, audio engineer, and DJ.
Born in New York City and raised in the Bronx during the genesis of hip hop, Dr. Dames currently works as Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources and Services at Georgetown University. In this role, he serves as intellectual arbiter of collection development and content strategies for a 3.5 million volume academic research library system and supervises more than 30 information professionals across five departments, including two branch libraries, and administers Georgetown’s nearly $6 million annual scholarly resources budget.
Prior to returning to Georgetown, Dr. Dames was for two years interim dean for the Syracuse University Libraries. In this role, he had chief academic, administrative, and management responsibility for a $25 million operation that included a 3 million volume library system, an academic press, archives and records management division, institutional repository, copyright office, audio archive, and a high density, climate controlled storage facility.
Dr. Dames also was founding director of Syracuse’s Copyright and Information Policy Office, one of the nation’s first full-time university offices dedicated to providing copyright, licensing, and scholarly communications advice to its campus community. He authored, implemented, and annually updated Syracuse’s institutional copyright policy, which has been adopted, in whole or in part, by more than 20 American colleges and universities.
A recipient of doctoral fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dr. Dames has earned degrees in law, information science, and business. He is the first African-American to earn the Ph.D. degree from Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.
Dr. Dames conducts research on copyright law, policy, and history, emphasizing the development, culture, and norms of the media and entertainment industries, and is the author of the forthcoming book Core Copyright: An Introduction to the American System. In addition, he is an inductee of Beta Phi Mu, the international library and information studies honor society, and an attorney in good standing with the Bar of Maryland.
Written: May 1, 2012
Updated: January 14, 2017