Welcoming Henry Bankhead, New Deputy Director

Headshot of Henry, smiling, wearing glasses and a suit with tie

Contact: Tess Mayer
Director of Library Services
Berkeley Public Library

Berkeley Public Library Welcomes New Deputy Director Henry Bankhead

Berkeley, California (January 17, 2023) – After an extensive nationwide search, the Berkeley Public Library is pleased to announce Henry Bankhead is the Library’s newest Deputy Directory. His first day at the Library is today, Tuesday, January 17, 2023. Henry will provide leadership for major operational areas including public services, collections, IT, and facilities.

“I have always gravitated toward the City of Berkeley,” says Henry, “so I am incredibly honored and elated to become the next Deputy Director of Library Services. Berkeley is a special place that highly values the public library and I am humbled by the incredible opportunity to become part of the library team serving this vibrant community”.

Most recently Henry Bankhead was the Assistant Director of Library & Recreation and City Librarian at the City of San Rafael. He applied the principles of design thinking to help create iterative improvement in library operations and organizational culture, giving library staff the freedom to innovate, provide feedback and prototype solutions. For example, Henry galvanized a team of library staff and community partners to open a new mall library location, in a former Payless Shoe Store, in just seven days!

Prior to joining the City of San Rafael, Henry served at the Los Gatos Library. Inspired by theatrical improv, he worked with his team to implement the use of improvisational techniques to improve customer service and help test solutions to challenging customer interactions. He also helped to open the award-winning Los Gatos Library in 2012.

Henry has been reviewing literary fiction for the Library Journal for the past 15 years. In addition, he has been a champion of e-book self-publishing and partnered with Smashwords, a free self-publishing platform that teaches local authors about the free tools of e-book self-publishing. For his work in this area he was named a “Library Journal Mover & Shaker” in 2014.

He went to Stanford University for his undergraduate degree in Anthropology, San Francisco Art Institute for a Masters of Fine Arts in Painting and San Jose State for his Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS).

“We are thrilled to have such an experienced leader join our team,” notes Tess Mayer, Director of Library Services. “Henry brings robust public services experience, technical acumen, and most importantly a consideration of staff expertise and perspectives.” 

For questions or interview requests, please contact the Library’s Communications Analyst, Aimee Reeder, at 510.495.4175 or areeder@cityofberkeley.info.

For information about Library events, services, hours and locations, please visit the Library’s website www.berkeleypubliclibrary.org.