Today, Mayor Vincent Gray and the D.C. Public Library (DCPL) Board of Trustees announced that Richard Reyes-Gavilan has been named the DCPL’s new Executive Director. Reyes-Gavilan, 44, currently serves as the Chief Librarian for the Brooklyn Public Library, a position he has held since 2011. He was selected from a national search conducted by the DCPL Board of Trustees to replace Chief Librarian Ginnie Cooper, who retired on October 31, 2013.
“Since 2006, the D.C. Public Library system has gone from something overlooked by far too many District residents to being a vital part of communities across our city. With Richard taking the helm in March, I’m confident that this transformation will continue, and District residents are going to be impressed and amazed by what their libraries have to offer,” Gray said.
The Brooklyn Public Library is the fifth largest in the country serving well over 10 million visitors annually. In Brooklyn, Reyes-Gavilan spearheaded the Open Libraries Initiative, an organizational capacity assessment that resulted in 440 additional hours of public service per week across the system. In 2012, the Urban Libraries Council recognized the initiative as the top operational innovation of the year. In 2013, Reyes-Gavilan provided the public service vision for Brooklyn Public Library’s strategic plan
“We are delighted to have Richard join the D.C. Public Library team. He brings a wealth of experience and is a well-respected leader across the country. We found Richard through an extensive national search and look forward to working with him as we continue to transform the District's library for residents across the city,” said John Hill, president of the library board.
Reyes-Gavilan first began his career at the New York Public Library, where he developed Spanish-language collections for neighborhood libraries in the Bronx. He earned a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in literature from the State University of New York at Albany.
“Few cities in America have invested as heavily in their public libraries as the District. I am honored to work with elected officials who have shown such a deep commitment to library service and am thrilled to be joining a team of professionals who have done so much to build an exceptional library system,” Reyes-Gavilan said.
The D.C. Public Library is ready to serve over 600,000 District of Columbia residents.