After 37 years of state service, Library Program Manager Beth Perry retired from the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS) in the Rhode Island Department of Administration. Perry worked at OLIS since its inception in 1996, and at its forerunner, the Department of State Library Services (DSLS). Beth joined DSLS in 1988 as Chief of the Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. She served in that position until 1997 when she was appointed Library Program Manager for Public and Government Information Services. From 2006 to 2007 she served as Acting Chief of Library Services. Prior to coming to DSLS, Beth was State Librarian at the Rhode Island State Library for four years. From 1971 to 1984 she held positions at the James P. Adams Library at Rhode Island College, from Senior Reference Librarian through Assistant Director and Associate Professor.
The New York Board of Regents announced the appointment of Bernard A. Margolis as the New York State Librarian. He will assume his new responsibilities in January 2009.
New York State Education Commissioner Richard Mills says, “We live in an age of information, and libraries play a critical role in providing us with access to that information. They are vital to our economy and our communities. They promote literacy and lifelong learning. And in these trying economic times, they are vital to people seeking information about jobs. I am thrilled that the Regents have appointed a dynamic and innovative person like Margolis to serve in the critically important position of State Librarian.”
Margolis served as the President of Boston Public Library (BPL), Boston, Massachusetts, from 1997 to 2008. Margolis’s achievements as BPL president include expansion of branch library hours; appointment of a children’s librarian in every branch; creation of a nationally recognized Homework Assistance Program and online tutoring program; implementation of Reading Readiness to prepare preschoolers for school success; creation of local history centers in eight branch libraries; creation of the award-winning Norman B. Leventhal Map Center; development of a collection conservation program; and growth of the BPL’s trust funds from $37 million to $55 million. Under Margolis’s leadership, BPL secured $7 million of direct grants and $18 million in federal funds for technology improvements and many foundation grants, designated gift funds, and major bequests.
Margolis led the effort to restore and renovate the historic central library building, securing funding from a number of sources. He worked with the City of Boston to establish a critical repair fund, allowing BPL to address building and equipment repairs in a timely manner. BPL collaborated with other cultural institutions and more than 4,500 different community groups and organizations.
Margolis’s service includes a number of elected positions within the American Library Association, leadership in the Association of Research Libraries, service as a professional delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries, and service on the boards of library organizations in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Michigan. He has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Library Administration and Bottom Line: The Magazine of Library Financial Management. He has contributed to several books and has published articles in American Libraries, Public Libraries, and Library Journal.