SAN JOSE, Calif. – Jill Bourne has been named Director of Libraries for the City of San José by City Manager Debra Figone. The San José City Council ratified the appointment today to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Jane Light in 2012.
Bourne comes from San Francisco Public Library, where she has served as Deputy City Librarian since 2006. Known as a rising leader in the library community, she was named as a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" in 2009 and a "Top Innovator" by the Urban Libraries Council in 2010.
"Jill Bourne brings excellent experience from running major urban library systems that will be invaluable to help us reach our goals," said Figone. "Her leadership and vision will be essential as we deal with the major changes and challenges affecting libraries, technology, and resources here in San José."
As Deputy City Librarian in San Francisco, Bourne shared oversight of public services at the system's main library and 27 branches, as well as a citywide capital building program. She led the implementation of programs and initiatives that enhanced public library services, including expanded operating hours, partnerships, public technology, and innovative literary and arts programming.
Bourne led San Francisco’s Digital Media and Learning initiative to develop a digital maker center at the library and a citywide network of connected youth learning programs, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In addition she led an environmental public education strategy to strengthen the public library's role in supporting sustainable communities.
Prior to her work in San Francisco, Bourne was Assistant Director for Public Services at the Seattle Public Library for five years. Figone also acknowledged and thanked Anne Cain, who has served as Interim Director of Libraries for the past year.
"Anne has done a wonderful job to keep our libraries moving forward during this period of transition," the city manager said. "On her watch we’ve successfully opened two new branch libraries already this year, and we’re well on our way to opening two more branches by June. On behalf of our library staff, visitors, and partners, I am grateful for her steady leadership and service."
Figone made the appointment after a national search and getting input from community stakeholders including employees, library "friends" organizations, and partner agencies. "I’m honored to be selected to join an outstanding library system that has earned national recognition for excellence, innovation, and service," said Bourne. "I look forward to working with a great team and building on a strong foundation already in place."
The San José library system includes 22 neighborhood branch libraries and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Main Library in downtown San José. The King Library is jointly operated in collaboration with San José State University, a partnership that is unique among American library systems.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services recognized the San José Public Library with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2011. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that demonstrate extraordinary innovative approaches to public service and community outreach. The San José Public Library was the first municipal library in California to receive the award.
With more than 270 employees and an annual operating budget of $32 million, San José libraries serve more than six million visitors annually, have more than two million items in the collections, and circulate nearly 12 million items per year.
Currently a resident of San Francisco, Bourne has a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Washington. She will start in San José on July 22, and her annual salary will be $190,000.
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Photo of Jill Bourne available here
David Vossbrink, Director of Communications
(408) 535-8170; firstname.lastname@example.org
I know there has been quite a bit of confusion lately about whether library cards are still free.
The Santa Clara County Library District recently decided to begin charging non-District residents an annual fee of $80 for a library card. Residents of the Library District will receive cards at no charge.
The Library District includes the cities of Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Milpitas, Campbell, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, Cupertino, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, as well as unincorporated areas. The other cities in the County, including San Jose, operate municipal libraries.
The District Library has experienced such a high amount of use by non-residents that its ability to meet the needs of its own residents was compromised.
As San Jose reduced its hours and services in recent years, many San Jose residents began to use nearby District Libraries and also the Santa Clara City Library as their primary library.
The District Library is the only one that is charging for a non-resident card. All the municipal libraries in the County (Santa Clara, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto and San Jose) continue at this time to issue a library card to non-residents.
People who work with me soon realize I enjoy numbers, data, and facts (though I am kept very busy as the manager of a large and active library system I am still a librarian at heart).
I'm guessing you did not know that last fiscal year more people visited the San Jose libraries (the 18 branches and the joint use King Library) than attended the home games of the SF Giants, the Oakland As, the Sharks, the Raiders, and the 49ers combined? Their attendance was 5.9 million, the libraries had 7.6 million visitors.
Last year the King Library and five of the 18 branches each checked out or renewed over 1 million items. All told, just under 15 million items were checked out or renewed. San Jose's libraries are among the most heavily used large city libraries in the U.S.
Of course, underlying these huge numbers are the stories of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives are made easier and better by using library resources and by receiving assistance from library staff. From time to time, I'll share some of those stories through this blog.
In challenging times, dysfunctional organizations hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. Healthy organizations look around for creative solutions to the problems they face, and join in the discussion of great ideas to find the very best solutions. San Jose Public Library is one of those healthy, although challenged organizations. Over many years of change, through very difficult budget times, our staff have not only willingly joined in the discussion, in many cases we are leading the discussion.
Some recent examples:
At a recent conference entitled "Internet Librarian", people from across the library field came together to discover the best ideas for using the Internet to further the educational and informational needs of library users. Two of our Library Managers were presenters of workshops, and our entire "Digital Futures Web Team" was in attendance, learning and sharing great ideas.
Over 100 staff from libraries who are users of the circulation and purchasing system (ILS) called "Millenium" from across Northern California were hosted here at King Library on a recent Friday to share experiences, best practices, and to suggest ideas for new product development to the vendor. This event was hosted by SJPL SJSU managers and has become a great place for great solutions to issues to be discussed.
Then, the annual California Library Association Conference was held in Sacramento and San Jose Public Library was well represented by attendees as well as workshop presenters - twenty library staff spent the weekend discussing, networking, debating, and generally making the future of libraries a brighter one.
We are very proud of what we do at San Jose Public Library for the people of San Jose in providing the best possible library service, but also what we do for the library community as it comes together to solve very difficult issues and looks to making libraries relevant and effective in the future.