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Community Letter about City Librarian Announcement

Post Date:02/26/2020 8:30 AM
February 26, 2020

Dear Santa Clara Community,

It is with mixed emotions that I share with you that City Librarian Hilary Keith has officially announced her intent to retire after 26 years of public service. Please join me in wishing Hilary a very happy and well-deserved retirement. Her retirement is effective July 24, 2020.

Her commitment to innovation and excellence in service has been a hallmark of Hilary’s tenure with the City of Santa Clara. She has spearheaded efforts to fundamentally change how libraries serve the community and we are all better served by her creativity, leadership and dedicated service. I would like to share a few of the many accomplishments under her leadership:

• The Northside Library opened in 2014, providing District 1 residents a safe place to gather and learn as a community. One of Hilary’s personal goals was to add hours to Library operations and that goal was accomplished last summer with the addition of Sunday and evening hours.
• Downtown residents now enjoy one of the City’s hidden gems – the Mission City Branch Library. Under Hilary’s leadership, the Mission Branch Library is a new and vibrant library space with wonderful opportunities for placemaking. Last summer, Hilary and her team received multiple awards for their hugely successful summer Lunch and Learn program that served over 10,000 lunches.
• Without a doubt, Hilary’s greatest legacy will be the impact she has had in leading her team to develop innovative and creative programming. From Bookmobile Karaoke to Comic Con to DMV kiosks to Mamava lactation spaces for new moms, Hilary and her team have created programs and services that recognize the changing demographics of our community. Their efforts to promote inclusion and diverse programming did not go unnoticed, most recently with Santa Clara City Library receiving the California Library Advocacy Award for efforts in promoting inclusion.

Hilary always demonstrated teamwork and would be seen at every major community event, every National Night Out, and wherever she was needed.

The true professional that she is, Hilary has offered to assist with her replacement and ensure a smooth transition. Over the next several months, I will be conducting an executive search to fill this vital position. We expect to officially open the recruitment on March 18, 2020.

I invite community members to take part in an online survey where residents and library stakeholders can provide input on desired attributes for a new City Librarian. It’s also an opportunity to share their thoughts on priorities for continuing the outstanding library services that have been a hallmark of the Santa Clara Library Department.

Plans are being finalized to meet with the Library Board of Trustees within the next couple of weeks.

Hilary has been an outstanding member of Santa Clara’s executive team and it will be difficult to fill her shoes as City Librarian. Thank you, Hilary, for your many years of dedicated service.

In community spirit,

Deanna J. Santana

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