Berkeley Library Director Announces Her Retirement in 2014

May 23, 2014

Contact: Jenifer Shurson
Associate Human Relations Analyst

Berkeley Library Director Announces Her Retirement in 2014

Berkeley, May 23, 2014 – Berkeley Public Library Director, Donna Corbeil has announced her intention to retire in September 2014. Director of the Library for over seven years, she was appointed by the Board of Library Trustees on January 08, 2007.

 “I’ve very much enjoyed my years of service and I will miss my colleagues and the many residents I’ve gotten to know and work with daily,” Corbeil said. “But this is a great time for the library to make a transition to new leadership, and personally I‘m excited about the future – the library’s and my own!”

Rebounding from the recession, the Library now enjoys a stable budget and has met some of the Library Board’s long-term goals. In 2013, the Library opened the last of the four branch library improvement projects, funded by Measure FF and expanded hours at branches. “During the course of Director Corbeil’s tenure we've forged a tremendous partnership with the Library that has enabled us to do great things together, like raising over $3 million for our branch libraries. Our community's commitment to its public libraries is remarkable, and together we're looking forward to an exciting new chapter of collaboration, innovation and service.” said Berkeley Public Library Foundation Executive Director, Kirsten Cowan.

Shortly after her arrival, Corbeil oversaw the completion of a Branch Library Facility Master Plan that lead to a Bond being placed on the ballot in November 2008. Following the passage of Measure FF, she managed the completion of the branch library improvement program, which resulted in the renovation of two historic branches and the new construction of the West and South Branch Libraries in a five-year period. The Measure FF bond program was completed in December 2013 with the opening of the West branch library. “During her tenure, the Library’s budget was stabilized, which was critical,” said, Library Trustee and City Councilmember Darryl Moore. “Donna also implemented a series of operational changes that improved programming, collections and increased staffing.”

The Library is engaged in two major planning efforts at this time, the development of a 3-year Strategic Plan and Central Library interior space planning. The new Director will report to the Board of Library Trustees and will oversee library operations and the completion of these projects.

“I am proud of all that we have achieved together, and for the opportunity to be part of the City of Berkeley team committed to public service and excellent libraries. The passion and commitment of the staff and the community has made this a rewarding and enjoyable seven years and I will always be grateful for the experience and opportunities it afforded me,” said Corbeil.

The Library will undertake an extensive recruitment effort to identify qualified candidates for the position, to facilitate this effort the executive recruitment firm of Bradbury Associates has been hired to work with the board and the city. Chair of the Board of Library Trustee, Abigail Franklin, announced the board has approved a recruitment process that is inclusive of the community and staff, with the goal to identify a candidate that is the best fit for the library’s needs. The Board of Library Trustees, appointed by the City of Berkeley, City Council is responsible for the appointment of the Library Director.

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