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April 25, 2018

Brooklyn Library Appoints First Chief Librarian
by Brooklyn Eagle (, published online 10-18-2011
Reyes-Gavilan Also Has Title of Director

GRAND ARMY PLAZA — Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) President and CEO Linda E. Johnson yesterday named Richard Reyes-Gavilan director of the library and chief librarian.

Reyes-Gavilan, who has directed the Central Library at Grand Army Plaza since 2008, will be the first person to assume that role. He will be responsible for managing and overseeing public service operations, including the system’s librarians and collections.

“Rich is very talented and I am delighted that he is committed to bringing excellent and extensive services to our hundreds of thousands of library users as director of the library and chief librarian,” said Johnson. “His contributions over the past several years as Central Library director have been extraordinary and give me great confidence that his expertise and creativity will raise the library experience to a new level.”

“This incredible opportunity comes at a time when libraries everywhere are redefining their core services and striving to address the rapidly evolving needs of their users,” said Reyes-Gavilan. “I look forward to working with Linda to lead the transformation.”

During his nearly four years as Central Library Director, Reyes-Gavilan oversaw creation of a facilities master plan for the Central Library and was critical in developing the concept for the Leon Levy Information Commons, a Central Library learning lab underwritten by a $3.25 million gift from the Leon Levy Foundation.

His recent accomplishments include helping to restructure branch service hours and collaborating with the New York City Department of Small Business Services to establish Workforce One Expansion Centers in two library branches in October.

Reyes-Gavilan began his career at the New York Public Library developing Spanish-language collections for neighborhood libraries in the Bronx before moving to the now-defunct Donnell Library Center in Midtown. He has a master’s of library and information science from the University of Texas at Austin.

In May 2011, the Brooklyn Public Library’s Board of Trustees voted to restructure the positions at the top of the library’s leadership to better position BPL to meet future challenges. Johnson became the system’s first president and CEO in August. The trustees also created the position of director of the library and chief librarian, which requires an advanced degree in library science along with high-level experience as a librarian.

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