Karen Pierce named new CEO

Karen Pierce has been named the new executive director of the Erie County Public Library.

Pierce, who has served as the acting deputy director of the Erie County Public Library since April and previously led the library’s Iroquois branch, will be the library system’s first permanent executive director since Blane Dessy resigned in May 2021.

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Pierce said she was honored by the selection.

“I’m very happy to be part of this incredible team,” she told the Erie Times-News. “We’re at a perfect time, coming out of the pandemic and getting our toes back into the real world. It’s a great time to join the team. There are a lot of opportunities for library services in the county.”

Pierce, who officially started her new job on June 13, said she is looking forward to moving forward with the new Millcreek branch library project, as well as improving parking and access to the Millcreek Memorial Library. Blasco.

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Originally from New Jersey, Pierce spent more than 20 years in the book industry, including as a freelance consultant for Usborne Books at Home, a division of Educational Development Corporation, a publishing company specializing in children’s books.

Pierce also spent 13 years as director of operations for the Slippery Rock Community Library.

“Slippery Rock had a library that was only 283 square feet,” she said. “During my tenure, we purchased property and built a 2,500 square foot freestanding building and went from being open 12 hours a week to being open almost 40 hours a week. There was also one part-time employee and we grew to two full-time and two part-time staff and an army of volunteers, so it was a time of incredible growth, both personally and for the Slippery Rock Community Library .

In a press release Wednesday, Erie County Executive Brenton Davis called Pierce a seasoned executive who was “passionate about advancing technology education and connecting people to information.”

“We are thrilled to have Karen as a member of the team,” Davis said in the statement. “His vast knowledge, experience and passion for the library is beyond what we could have asked of an executive director. I look forward to working alongside him to take our library and community resources to the next level.”

Sheryl Thomas, who served as Acting Principal and Deputy Principal, will now serve as the full-time Deputy Principal.

AJ Rao can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ETNRao.

Lucas E. Kelly