Library Director Leach to Retire in August

(KFOR NEWS  May 5, 2022)   Lincoln’s Director of City Libraries since 2008, Pat Leach, will retire in August 2022.

 Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said today, “We wish Pat all the best as she turns the page on this chapter of her career – amounting to more than four decades of service to the City of Lincoln and our public libraries.  Her true love of literature and passion for lifelong learning touched thousands, and we are grateful to her for leaving a legacy that will continue to benefit our community far into the future.

Leach began her career at Lincoln City Libraries in 1979. She started as a part-time assistant while still a college student. She also served as South Branch Supervisor and as the Youth Services Librarian before being selected as the Director by Mayor Chris Beutler in 2008 after the previous Director retired.

I am so proud of the people who make up our library staff, and of their ability and commitment to serve the people of Lincoln,” said Leach. “I want to thank the many people who have been our partners throughout the years, especially those who served on the Library Board and through the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries. It’s been an honor to be the Library Director in this city that so clearly values lifelong education.

Mayor Gaylor Baird praised Leach for her leadership during the pandemic, as the libraries adopted innovations like curbside pickup and reserved appointment times. She said other accomplishments that occurred during her tenure as the Director of Lincoln City Libraries  include the following:

  • Community collaboration has been embedded throughout library services, including the ConnectED program with Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) that provides all LPS students with a library account; the collaboration with the City Parks and Recreation Department and LPS on the Williams Branch Library; and Prime Time Family Reading Time through Humanities Nebraska.
  • The “15 Minutes a Day” community initiative encourages people to read aloud to young children. The initiative includes the creation of a Read Aloud Advocate within the library staff, many outreach programs through medical providers and the Lincoln Community Foundation, and ongoing use of funds raised for this purpose through the Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries.
  • High-speed wireless and internet connections for the public is available in all Lincoln City Libraries buildings.
  • Lincoln City Libraries has earned consistently high ratings for library services in community surveys.

Throughout her library career, Pat has been a fierce advocate for libraries, reading and lifelong learning,” said Dan Sloan, President of the Lincoln City Libraries Board of Directors. “She understands the important role public libraries play in society and has made sure that our libraries continue to meet the ever-changing needs of our community.

Leach’s last day with Lincoln City Libraries is scheduled for August 31, 2022. The City will conduct a national search for a new director.

Lincoln City Libraries (LCL) supports lifelong education for the Lincoln community through its support for learning, literature, and literacy. Within LCL’s eight locations, people can check out books, DVDs, and CDs, attend special events such as preschool learning times or book groups, use library gathering spaces for study or meetings, and connect to the Internet via the library’s personal computers or the library’s wireless internet.