King County Library System selects new director

Well-regarded librarian brings decades of innovation in diverse communities to King County

  • Thursday, November 30, 2017 12:33pm
  • News
Lisa Rosenblum. COURTESY PHOTO

Lisa Rosenblum. COURTESY PHOTO

The King County Library System (KCLS) Board of Trustees has selected Lisa Rosenblum as its director following a comprehensive nationwide search.

The board made its decision at its regular monthly meeting on Wednesday and extended an offer that Rosenblum accepted.

Rosenblum begins her leadership role at the KCLS Service Center in Issaquah on Jan. 16.

“Our search firm delivered a choice of several qualified candidates. During the interview process, Lisa Rosenblum rose to the top of the list as the person best suited to lead KCLS as we implement our new strategic focus,” said KCLS Board Trustee Robin McClelland, who chaired the search committee.

“Lisa is undaunted by challenges, our geographic reach, and our mission to serve our diverse population of patrons. We believe she will strengthen relationships with communities and seek partnerships that share our commitment to innovation,” McClelland added.

A distinguished librarian, Rosenblum has spent her career in culturally diverse and metropolitan library settings on the East and West coasts. She joins KCLS from the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) in New York City, the fifth-largest library system in the country, which includes the historic Central Library. There, Rosenblum served as director and chief librarian and oversaw the planning, developing and leading of BPL’s operations and its $120 million budget.

Prior to her position at BPL, Rosenblum served as director of Library and Community Services for the City of Sunnyvale, Calif., where she implemented the use of innovative technology to enhance library services, increased the circulation of materials and augmented eBook collections. Prior to her role in Sunnyvale, Rosenblum served as director of Library and Neighborhood Services for the City of Hayward, Calif., where she led the planning and modernization of library services and developed integrated neighborhood programs.

Rosenblum began her library career as a librarian, and later training manager, then division manager, of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in San Jose, Calif.

Since 2008, Rosenblum has shared her strategic leadership, organizational theory and management concept knowledge as a visiting professor and lecturer, respectively, at Pratt Institute School of Information and San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science.

“Lisa’s proven leadership abilities and extensive background in library programs, services, technology and innovation will be an immense asset to the King County Library System,” said Stephen A. Smith, KCLS interim library director. “She has worked for years with people from all walks of life, which is a great match for our increasingly diverse county. We are very fortunate that she is joining us, and sincerely look forward to her arrival in the Pacific Northwest.”

A dynamic leader, Rosenblum will be responsible for advancing KCLS’ strategic focus initiatives, including collaborating with civic and business leaders, advancing the library’s literary and technology programs, continuing its excellence in customer service, building a diverse staff and supporting the KCLS Foundation’s fundraising efforts.

“The King County Library System is nationally known as a leader among public libraries. It is an honor to have been selected as the next director,” Rosenblum said. “Many of the innovative programs at KCLS are implemented similarly at BPL, so I already feel an alignment with the direction of KCLS and its strategic focus. I would like to continue the direction and help it grow as both an institution and a community asset.”

Rosenblum earned her master’s degree in Library Science from San Jose State University and received a bachelor of arts degree from St. John’s College.

About the King County Library System

Founded in 1942, the King County Library System (KCLS) is one of the busiest library systems in the country. KCLS has 49 libraries spread throughout King County in Washington state with more than 700,000 cardholders. In 2016, King County residents checked out almost 21 million items, including 3.8 million digital eBooks and audiobooks, making KCLS the number one circulating library for online downloads in the United States. Last year, KCLS also had 10 million library visitors and 64 million catalog searches.

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