Andrew Medlar, President & Director
Andrew Medlar was appointed in spring 2022 to oversee the operations of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, one of the country’s largest urban library systems. In his role as the 12th President & Director, he works to deepen and expand organizational partnerships; ensure sustainable funding for the future of libraries; and spearhead strategic planning to build upon the Library’s historic position as a beloved cultural and educational institution for the benefit of all our diverse communities. With a family heritage that is steeped in librarianship and education, he believes that only by working together with the community can you ensure that everyone has access to the knowledge they want, need and deserve.
Collaborating with more than 400 colleagues across 19 library locations, Mr. Medlar leads shared library services across Allegheny County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. With extensive experience across the library industry, he understands the pivotal role libraries provide for our community.
He began his career as a page and circulation clerk at the Dayton Metro Library in Ohio. At Chicago Public Library he served as a children’s librarian and youth materials specialist before moving into senior leadership roles as Assistant Commissioner for Collections and Assistant Chief for Technology, Content, and Innovation. During this time, Mr. Medlar expanded Chicago’s city-wide digital learning services and content by 400%, created dozens of opening day collections for new and renovated libraries, and played a key role in the creation of YOUmedia, a digital learning space for teens which is a model replicated around the world. He was also influential in the expansion of shared access to services and content through leadership positions with the Chicago Collections Consortium and Digital Public Library of America.
Most recently Mr. Medlar served as Director of BookOps, the shared library services organization responsible for meeting the strategic management, technical services, and logistic needs of the more than 150 locations of New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library. Throughout his career he provided direct oversight of multi-branch library operations, budgets, collections, partnerships, community outreach, strategic visioning, and collaborative planning.
Understanding our collective minds are more robust when materials that represent the whole community are readily available, Mr. Medlar is dedicated to strengthening diversity, equity, inclusion, and access across all aspects of library services. In New York City, for example, he substantially increased BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ representation on his management team and together they initiated diversity audits of collections, increased access to censored books, and addressed systemic barriers in practices and policies.
A sought-after presenter, writer, book reviewer, advisor, and commentator, Mr. Medlar was named by The Wall Street Journal as one of “the country’s most influential literary arbiters.” He has contributed to the American Library Association’s Joint Working Group on Digital Content, National eBook Summit, and National Legislative Days. As past president of the Association for Library Service to Children he has been instrumental in creating connections with organizations including the National Summer Learning Association, the White House Office of Public Engagement, and the El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) initiative, which over the years has manifested in a combined front against summer slide and resulted in more young people reading more. He is the recipient of the Davis Cup for Outstanding Contributions in Library Service and was named Librarian of the Year by the Government of Spain’s Institute for Foreign Trade and the Spanish Association of Publishers Guild.
Mr. Medlar is a graduate of Miami University, holds a Master of Library Service degree from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and earned a professional graduate certificate in organizational behavior from Harvard.