Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Announces Next President & Director
Andrew Medlar tapped to lead the 126-year-old organization
After an extensive six-month national search, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s (CLP) Board of Trustees has enthusiastically selected Andrew Medlar, an internationally recognized visionary library leader, as the Library’s next President & Director. Mr. Medlar, the current Director of BookOps for New York Public Library in New York City, will officially join the organization on May 31, 2022 as CLP’s 12th President & Director in its 126 year history.
According to Patrick Dowd, Chair of the Library’s Board of Trustees, Mr. Medlar was the unanimous choice of the search committee and the board. “We are thrilled that Andrew will be leading our historic system. Throughout the search process, Mr. Medlar’s work to increase community engagement, actively lead and facilitate library shared services and improve Equity, Diversity and Inclusion outcomes for employees and patrons stood out as skills that will greatly benefit the Library and Pittsburgh as we begin to plan strategically for our next 125 years.”
As the nation emerges from a global pandemic and as libraries evolve to meet the changing needs of their communities in the 21st century, Mr. Medlar will play a leadership role in championing the increasingly important role of the library in society. He will lead Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s efforts to deepen collaborative partnerships and steward avenues for sustainable funding to invest in the Library’s future. He also will spearhead the Library’s next strategic planning process that will build upon CLP’s historic position in the Pittsburgh community and anticipate the services, programming, and needs of Pittsburgh’s broad and diverse communities.
“It is my commitment to ensure that every member of our community has access to the knowledge they want, need and deserve,” said Mr. Medlar. “Our collective minds are more robust when materials that represent the whole community are readily available. Pittsburgh is fortunate to have a world-class library system that is a space for residents to learn something new and engage with their neighbors. Generations of Pittsburghers have been inspired by not only the grand nature of the buildings themselves, but by the staff who truly make the Library a welcoming place. I am thrilled to be part of its legacy.”
Mr. Medlar succeeds Mary Frances Cooper, who retired at the end of 2021 after a decade-long career with Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. During the search for its new President & Director, the Library was assisted by Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, which networked with professionals representing the library and business communities. An 8-person search committee, led by Board Vice Chair LaShawnda Thomas and comprised of Library trustees and staff, recommended Mr. Medlar’s selection to the full board after a comprehensive process that included conversations with staff and stakeholders, reference and credential evaluations and an extensive interview process.
“During this process, we felt strongly about the importance of engaging with our stakeholders to make sure the Library’s next President & Director was representative of our community” said LaShawnda Thomas, Chair of the Library’s Search Committee. “Mr. Medlar stood out as a leader who understands the significance of collaborative partnerships, innovative services, and out-of-the-box thinking to ensure a strong library system. We feel that he is absolutely the right person to successfully steward the Library into the future.”
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is the largest public library in Western Pennsylvania. Founded as a public trust by Andrew Carnegie’s unflagging commitment to free libraries, CLP has championed its mission to engage the community in literacy and learning since its inception in 1895. Today, with 19 branches across the City of Pittsburgh and a staff of more than 400, CLP serves just under three million people annually and plays a vital leadership role in the region. As one of Pennsylvania’s 29 District Library Centers, CLP serves all public libraries in Allegheny County, providing services such as materials sorting and delivery, interlibrary loan, continuing education, and teen services coordination. Additionally, CLP is one of four Statewide Resource Centers in the Commonwealth and administers the Library of Accessible Media for Pennsylvanians (LAMP) that serves residents across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania who are blind or print disabled.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Medlar will be available for interviews beginning the week of June 6th. To schedule an interview, please contact Suzanne Thinnes at firstname.lastname@example.org/412.578.2458.