New Executive Director For Providence Community Library

Providence Community Library, the nonprofit group that has taken over the city's nine branch libraries, has named a new executive director, Ann A. Robinson.

For 135 years, the nonprofit Providence Public Library group ran the central library and the city's nine branch libraries. But after a very public feud with Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline over funding and PPL plans to close several branches in the face of a tight budget, the Providence Community Library is now in charge of the branch libraries. The PPL continues to run the downtown library.

Here's the release:

After an extensive national search for a library director, Providence Community Library has hired Rhode Island native Ann A. Robinson to supervise its new nine-library system, formerly part of Providence Public Library. 

Having most recently served as the Associate Head Librarian of the Worcester Public Library for eight years, Robinson has experience working in a city similar to Providence in size and diversity of population.
A graduate of Clark University, Robinson earned her library degree at Simmons College and was a social worker for a decade before beginning her library career in 1987 as director of the Bancroft Memorial Library in Hopedale, Massachusetts.  Over the next twenty years, she gained considerable experience in many areas of library administration as she moved to progressively larger cities with more complex library systems.
Maureen Romans, co-chair of the PCL Search committee that recommended Robinson to the PCL Board, commented, “Despite receiving applications from across the country, we found Ann Robinson to be the person best suited for Providence.  We are delighted that she is from the area and will understand our needs.”  Robinson was raised in Pawtucket, and her family moved to Providence in 1971.  Robinson reflected, “In the early 1980s I had the pleasure of introducing my two-year-old niece to the Rochambeau Library and was thrilled when she wanted to return over and over again.”

"I look forward to working with Ms. Robinson and the Providence Community Library as we preserve the core mission of the former Providence Public Library” said Mayor David N. Cicilline.  This work is tremendously important to the residents of Providence and especially our children.”

The executive committee of the Providence Community Library board was especially impressed with Robinson’s leadership style and management strengths.  PCL President Marcus Mitchell believes that her “experience in administration, team building and outreach, along with her focus on running a customer centered library, will serve the city of Providence well.”

Ann Robinson will start work next Monday, moving into temporary administrative quarters at South Providence Library.  “I commend the dedication and hard work of all those who were determined to safeguard neighborhood library service,” Robinson said.  “As Executive Director of the Providence Community Library, I look forward to building on Providence’s tradition of excellent local library service by working towards the goal of providing easy access to a high quality, responsive, community library system.

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