Today is the first official day for the library’s new executive director, Joslyn Bowling Dixon.
Last month, the Board of Library Trustees was thrilled to formally announce its unanimous vote to hire Joslyn as the library’s next executive director. Joslyn assumes the role from Interim Executive Director Lori Pulliam, who stepped up after previous Executive Director David J. Seleb retired in February.
At the October library board meeting, Board President Matt Fruth thanked everyone involved in the search process, including executive search consultants The Blackberry Collective, library staff, his fellow trustees, and Joslyn.
“Joslyn, please know that this Board is behind you and ready to work hand-in-hand with you to empower our staff and community to make this a library for everyone,” Matt said.
In the search for its next leader, trustees were intentional in efforts to recruit a leader who would embody and continue the work set in motion by David—to review and implement internal and external operations through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).
Joslyn brings a prolific catalog of knowledge and experience gleaned from more than 20 years of urban and suburban public library experience to her new role.
Joslyn’s previous position was as Director of Newark Public Library, and she has spent the last nine years on the East Coast serving as Deputy Director at Prince William Public Library in northern Virginia, Branch Manager at DC Public Library, and as a Department Head/Supervisor of Adult Services at Arlington Public Library (VA) and Youth Services at the Bowie Branch of Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. Early in her career, she worked at the Oak Park Public Library as a Circulation Manager and as a Library Associate in the department previously known as FAVS (Fiction, Audio, and Video Services).
“My experience at Oak Park set a high bar for customer service, innovation, and collaboration that I have strived to emulate and carry with me throughout my library career,” Joslyn said. “It is an incredible privilege and honor to be afforded the opportunity to return to Oak Park to lead this dedicated and engaged team.”
Originally from Aurora, Joslyn is elated to return to her Chicago-area roots and the Oak Park Public Library. She began the first Librarians of Color Forum for the Virginia Library Association, is a certified racial healing circle practitioner, serves as a member of American Libraries Association EDI Speaker’ Bureau, and was an EDI Consultant for Hampton University Harvey Library initiative: Leading the Charge: Advancing the Recruitment, Retention and Inclusion of People of Color within the Library and Information Science Field. Joslyn is a graduate of Hampton University (BA, English) and Dominican University (MLIS).
A passionate advocate for public libraries on the national level, Joslyn serves as a Councilor-At-Large for the American Library Association and is an active member of the Public Library Association and the Urban Libraries Council.