Chris Tonjes Appointed Chief Information Officer of Baltimore, MD

Chris Tonjes, the Library's Chief Information Officer, has been named the new Chief Information Officer for the city of Baltimore, MD.

“While we are sad to see Chris go, we are excited for the opportunity that he has in Baltimore," said Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian for the District of Columbia.  “Chris has been the backbone for the Library's work to close the digital divide in the District and has helped make the Library an innovator with technology.  We will always be grateful for his work and his leadership."

Since Tonjes’ arrival in 2007, he has led the effort to make the agency a community anchor institution in providing access to technology.  The number of Library public access computers has grown by 400 percent, making the agency the largest provider of free computer access in the District.   Using federal stimulus dollars, new computer centers were created at three schools, the Community College of the District of Columbia and two recreation centers.  Every DC Public Library also received new computers. 

In addition, Tonjes led a $1.5 million federal Sustainable Broadband grant that provides computer classes to 1,600 District residents at neighborhood libraries, including customized classes for senior citizens, children aging out of the foster care system, Spanish speakers and the deaf and hearing impaired.  All low-income course graduates receive a free refurbished computer and a year of free Internet service.

Tonjes also expanded how people check out books from the Library by creating the first-ever iPhone app for a library, as well as iPad and Blackberry apps. 

Selected from a competitive national search effort, Tonjes will go to Baltimore later this month where he will be responsible for managing information technology services for the city.