Mayor Gray and Library Trustees name Richard Reyes-Gavilan New Executive Director of the D.C. Public Library
Published on Friday, January 10, 2014 - 12:21pm
Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the D.C. Public Library (DCPL) Board of Trustees announced that Richard Reyes-Gavilan has been named the DCPL’s new Executive Director.
Reyes-Gavilan, 44, currently serves as the Chief Librarian for the Brooklyn Public Library, a position he has held since 2011. He was selected from a national search conducted by the DCPL Board of Trustees to replace Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper, who retired on October 31, 2013.
“Since 2006, the D.C. Public Library system has gone from something overlooked by far too many District residents to being a vital part of communities across our city,” said Mayor Gray. “With Richard taking the helm in March, I’m confident that this transformation will continue, and District residents are going to be impressed and amazed by what their libraries have to offer.”
“We are delighted to have Richard join the D.C. Public Library team,” said John Hill, president of the library board. “He brings a wealth of experience and is a well-respected leader across the country. We found Richard through an extensive national search and look forward to working with him as we continue to transform the District's library for residents across the city.”
“Few cities in America have invested as heavily in their public libraries as the District,” said Reyes-Gavilan. “I am honored to work with elected officials who have shown such a deep commitment to library service and am thrilled to be joining a team of professionals who have done so much to build an exceptional library system.”
The Brooklyn Public Library is the fifth largest in the country serving well over 10 million visitors annually. In Brooklyn, Reyes-Gavilan spearheaded the Open Libraries Initiative, an organizational capacity assessment that resulted in 440 additional hours of public service per week across the system. In 2012, the Urban Libraries Council recognized the initiative as the top operational innovation of the year. In 2013, Reyes-Gavilan provided the public service vision for Brooklyn Public Library’s strategic plan.
Reyes-Gavilan first began his career at the New York Public Library, where he developed Spanish-language collections for neighborhood libraries in the Bronx. He earned a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in literature from the State University of New York at Albany.
Reyes-Gavilan will officially take the position in March. Until then, DCPL Communications Director Joi Mecks will continue to serve as Interim Chief Librarian.