June 28, 2021 – Executive search firm Bradbury-Miller Associates has assisted the Hoboken Public Library in the recruitment of Jennie Pu as its new director. After what turned out to be a nationwide search, four finalists were identified. The board of trustees voted unanimously to appoint Ms. Pu as its new leader. She replaces long-time director Lina Podles who officially retired on June 1.
“The Hoboken Public Library is undergoing some significant changes and we are glad to welcome Jennie to lead the team,” said Jerome Abernathy, board president. “In addition to directing the traditional customer-focused operations of our public library, Jennie will be managing the library through its post-COVID restoration of full services, and taking on the responsibility of shepherding the library through its long-awaited renovation. We look forward to working with her as she takes on these enormous responsibilities.”
“She brings new energy and is the imaginative leader who will serve the library well,” said Ravi Bhalla, mayor of Hoboken. “I know she will bring an exceptional level of community service to Hoboken in her new role, and I look forward to working collaboratively with her and the library board.”
Ms. Pu is currently the dean of college libraries at Hudson County Community College. During her career, she has gained experience in various roles with the West Orange Board of Education, Board of Education New Jersey, Hudson Montessori School, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art Library.
Ms. Pu said that she is excited about the opportunity to lead Hoboken Public Library. “I look forward to working with the board, the staff, the city and all members of the Hoboken community to build upon the library’s past successes, and position it for an even greater future,” she said.
Libraries Looking for New Leaders
Bradbury-Miller specializes in executive searches for the library sector. About 80 percent of the firm’s work is for public libraries, though it also conducts searches for state libraries, library networks or consortia and academic libraries. The firm, which was founded in 1983, has conducted about 130 searches to date.
Its practice is national in scope and its library leadership searches read like a Who’s Who of this small, but important niche. The firm has completed director searches for the Westport (CT) and Carmel Clay (IN) libraries as well as public library directors in Denver, Pierce County (WA), New Haven (CT), Las Vegas-Clark County (NV), Sonoma County (CA), Wooster (MA), Boulder (CO), Mobile (AL), Baton Rouge (LA) and Berkeley (CA).
Libraries Turning to Search Firms
Search firms across the nation are finding library leadership needs rising dramatically. Here is a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon archives:
Isaacson, Miller recently assisted the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) in the recruitment of Christina M. Shutt as its fifth executive director and first person of color to lead the organization. Partner Andy Lee led the search with managing associate Jeff Kessner. “Christina Shutt brings tremendous expertise to the job, as well as new perspectives on how to interpret the life, legacy and lessons of Abraham Lincoln,” said Ray LaHood, chairman of the ALPLM board of trustees. “We are thrilled to have her guiding a great institution dedicated to an even greater man,” he said. “After a nationwide search for the best candidate to shape the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum’s 21st century legacy, Illinois is elated to welcome Christina Shutt and her family to Springfield,” said JB Pritzker, governor of Illinois.
Coleman Lew Canny Bowen recently recruited Marcellus Turner as the new CEO and chief librarian for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina. Mr. Turner replaces Lee Keesler, who said last June he would be retiring after nearly a decade in the role. “Marcellus Turner is an exceptional leader whose experience and visionary approach make him the ideal person to lead the development and direction of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library,” said Joe Helweg, chair of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library board of trustees and head of the search committee. “A respected voice in the national conversation about the future of libraries, Marcellus will be a strategic local leader for our region with his thought leadership on how urban libraries can become more socially conscious and more impactful in helping to solve the challenges facing our communities today.”
Rockville, MD-based executive search firm JDG Associates has assisted the Library of Congress in the selection of Shira Perlmutter as its Register of Copyrights. Darren DeGioia, president of the search firm, led the assignment. “Shira brings to this role a deep knowledge of domestic and international copyright law and policy and a background in negotiating international intellectual property agreements. She has experience working with a wide range of stakeholders and finding common ground on complex issues,” said Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress. The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the U.S. — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media