Jill Bourne Named San José Director of Libraries

Jill BourneSAN JOSE, Calif. – Jill Bourne has been named Director of Libraries for the City of San José by City Manager Debra Figone. The San José City Council ratified the appointment today to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Jane Light in 2012.

Bourne comes from San Francisco Public Library, where she has served as Deputy City Librarian since 2006. Known as a rising leader in the library community, she was named as a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" in 2009 and a "Top Innovator" by the Urban Libraries Council in 2010.

"Jill Bourne brings excellent experience from running major urban library systems that will be invaluable to help us reach our goals," said Figone. "Her leadership and vision will be essential as we deal with the major changes and challenges affecting libraries, technology, and resources here in San José."

As Deputy City Librarian in San Francisco, Bourne shared oversight of public services at the system's main library and 27 branches, as well as a citywide capital building program. She led the implementation of programs and initiatives that enhanced public library services, including expanded operating hours, partnerships, public technology, and innovative literary and arts programming.

Bourne led San Francisco’s Digital Media and Learning initiative to develop a digital maker center at the library and a citywide network of connected youth learning programs, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In addition she led an environmental public education strategy to strengthen the public library's role in supporting sustainable communities.

Prior to her work in San Francisco, Bourne was Assistant Director for Public Services at the Seattle Public Library for five years.  Figone also acknowledged and thanked Anne Cain, who has served as Interim Director of Libraries for the past year.

"Anne has done a wonderful job to keep our libraries moving forward during this period of transition," the city manager said. "On her watch we’ve successfully opened two new branch libraries already this year, and we’re well on our way to opening two more branches by June. On behalf of our library staff, visitors, and partners, I am grateful for her steady leadership and service."

Figone made the appointment after a national search and getting input from community stakeholders including employees, library "friends" organizations, and partner agencies. "I’m honored to be selected to join an outstanding library system that has earned national recognition for excellence, innovation, and service," said Bourne. "I look forward to working with a great team and building on a strong foundation already in place."

The San José library system includes 22 neighborhood branch libraries and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Main Library in downtown San José. The King Library is jointly operated in collaboration with San José State University, a partnership that is unique among American library systems.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services recognized the San José Public Library with the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in 2011. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries that demonstrate extraordinary innovative approaches to public service and community outreach. The San José Public Library was the first municipal library in California to receive the award.

With more than 270 employees and an annual operating budget of $32 million, San José libraries serve more than six million visitors annually, have more than two million items in the collections, and circulate nearly 12 million items per year.

Currently a resident of San Francisco, Bourne has a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Washington. She will start in San José on July 22, and her annual salary will be $190,000.

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David Vossbrink
Director of Communications
(408) 535-8170

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