May 30, 2013 – Salt Lake City – The City Library Board of Directors named John Spears Executive Director of The Salt Lake City Public Library in a unanimous vote today. The decision came after a nationwide recruitment process that resulted in a multi-day visit with the final candidates, who met and were interviewed by the Library Board and members of all levels of the organization.
Spears is currently the Executive Director of the Naperville Public Library, Illinois, and has served in various leadership and public services roles in libraries since 1998.
"Library staff and Board members alike were inspired by John's vision and his leadership in redefining the role that libraries play in their communities," said Kevin Werner, Library Board President. "Through collaboration and partnerships, he has demonstrated how libraries can reach populations not typically served by traditional library services and embody the aspirations of their communities."
The library currently partners with service organizations, educators, cultural institutions, and experts, said Werner. "Through John's leadership and focus, we look forward to these partnerships expanding for the benefit of our entire community."
Spears said he was impressed with the energy he felt in the city at the library. "In meeting with the staff and Board, I felt at home and that I had the opportunity to be a part of something wonderful at the Salt Lake City Public Library. With two new branches on the horizon and an incredible amount of community involvement already in place, I'm excited to help guide the Library into the future."
Spears will replace Linda Hamilton, who was named Acting Director in November 2011. Hamilton was tasked by the Library Board to address the challenges that hindered the distressed organization from moving forward.
"Linda's experienced, steady leadership has prepared The City Library for what's next," said Werner. "With John's vision and the commitment of our staff, we are well positioned to respond to the dynamic needs of our changing community in exciting ways in the future."