Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Launches National Search for New Director
Applications to lead the 125-year-old organization are now open
The search for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s (CLP) next President and Director has moved into the next phase. Nominations and applications from prospective candidates are currently being accepted and will continue until the position is filled. The process to search for a new director was initiated in May 2021 when longtime library leader Mary Frances Cooper, MLS, announced plans to retire at the end of the year. The Library’s Board of Trustees has retained national executive recruiting firm Isaacson, Miller to assist in the search to lead the 125-year-old organization.
In developing a position description for a strategic, visionary, and collaborative leader, the search committee (Library Trustees LaShawnda Thomas (Chair), Marc Brown, Kenyokee Crowell, Justin Krauss, Carol Robinson, Erika Strassburger, Lou Testoni, and staff member, Anita Greene-Jones, Assistant Director – Shared Services and County Relations) held listening sessions with staff, funders and community stakeholders and received responses from an anonymous survey sent to current employees. The position profile, which can be accessed here, incorporates the key challenges and opportunities as defined by these conversations. Highlights include:
- Collaboratively create and communicate an inspiring vision for the future of CLP
- Strengthen Pittsburgh and Allegheny County libraries through partnerships and shared services
- Deepen collaborative partnerships across the city, county and state
- Build, support and develop a talented and dedicated staff
- Deepen the sense of community externally with a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and access
- Steward CLP’s resource base and invest in the future
“It was important to us to engage our stakeholders in this process,” said LaShawnda Thomas, Chair of the Library’s Search Committee. “For the past several months we have held important conversations to fully understand the leadership required to keep our library system strong and poised for the future. My colleagues and I look forward to speaking with a rich and diverse pool of candidates who share our passion for providing learning opportunities to all members of our community.”
CLP operates 19 branches serving nearly three million visitors annually through 2019 and is the largest public library in Western Pennsylvania, operating as the “home” library system for residents of the City of Pittsburgh and residents in areas of Allegheny County who are not otherwise served by a library. As one of Pennsylvania’s 29 District Library Centers, CLP serves all public libraries in Allegheny County, providing services including 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 who are blind or print disabled.
In November 2020, CLP began a year-long celebration to commemorate the Library’s 125th Anniversary of Andrew Carnegie’s dedication of the Library, Museum, and Music Hall in 1895 to the people of Pittsburgh. The Library’s 125th Anniversary presented a special opportunity for the community to engage with the long and storied history and legacy of the Library through services, programs, special collections, and staff. Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is the home of many “firsts” in library service nationally, including the first public library to offer a dedicated Children’s Department and a training school specifically for children’s librarians.