MARYSVILLE — A woman who has led a library system serving more than 850,000 cardholders in Minnesota is to take the reins at Sno-Isle Libraries this winter.
The Sno-Isle Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to hire Lois Langer Thompson as executive director. It was the conclusion of a national search to replace Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, who is to retire by December after more than three decades with the library district.
Thompson has been director of Hennepin County Library, which serves the Minneapolis area, for 10 years.
She was one of three finalists for the top job here.
“Lois distinguished herself from a strong field of applicants and we’re confident in her ability to lead the library district,” said Marti Anamosa, president of the board of trustees, in a news release.
Thompson will be moving to Washington with her husband, Jeff. They “already feel like we are coming home,” she said in the news release.
She’s expected to start her job with Sno-Isle on Dec. 3. Her salary will be $205,000.
In Minnesota, Thompson helped guide the merger of the Minneapolis and Hennepin library systems; worked on fundraising that boosted the budget by hundreds of thousands of dollars; and led the district through the construction, expansion or renovation of 27 libraries between 2008 and 2018, according to her application materials.
She also worked with Somali, Native American and Latino groups to extend library services in those communities. She’s presented on topics such as modern library services and extending hours and access, and led training on justice and equity.
Thompson wrote in her application that she believes “public libraries are the heart of every community” and must respond to the changing needs of those who use them.
“My passion is for libraries that are innovative, sustainable and accessible,” she wrote.
She’ll head Sno-Isle’s 23 libraries, which serve two counties and a population of roughly 750,000. The libraries employ about 500 people, and the district’s tax-funded operating budget is more than $50 million.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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