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Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh names new president and director

Sarah Schneider
90.5 WESA

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has named a new president and director.

Andrew Medlar
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Andrew Medlar

Andrew Medlar was unanimously chosen by the Carnegie Library’s board of trustees after a six-month national search, the library announced Wednesday. Medlar is currently director of BookOps, the organization that provides shared technical services to the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library.

“Mr. Medlar stood out as a leader who understands the significance of collaborative partnerships, innovative services, and out-of-the-box thinking to ensure a strong library system,” LaShawnda Thomas, chair of the library’s search committee, said in a statement.

Medlar will lead “efforts to deepen collaborative partnerships and steward avenues for sustainable funding to invest in the Library’s future. He also will spearhead the Library’s next strategic planning process that will build upon CLP’s historic position in the Pittsburgh community and anticipate the services, programming, and needs of Pittsburgh’s broad and diverse communities,” according to the statement.

“It is my commitment to ensure that every member of our community has access to the knowledge they want, need and deserve,” Medlar said in a statement.

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Before his time with BookOps, Medlar had worked for 20 years at the Chicago Public Library, in roles including youth-materials specialist and assistant chief for technology, content and innovation.

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, founded 126 years ago, by industrialist Andrew Carnegie, operates 19 branches in the city, including its landmark main branch, in Oakland. It has a staff of more than 400, a budget of about $39 million, and serves nearly 3 million people annually, according to the library. As a District Library Center, it also provides all public libraries in Allegheny County with services including materials sorting and delivery, interlibrary loan, continuing education, and teen-services coordination.

Medlar will succeed Mary Frances Cooper, who retired in late 2021 after leading the library for 10 years. He is scheduled to begin work May 31.

Bill is a long-time Pittsburgh-based journalist specializing in the arts and the environment. Previous to working at WESA, he spent 21 years at the weekly Pittsburgh City Paper, the last 14 as Arts & Entertainment editor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and in 30-plus years as a journalist has freelanced for publications including In Pittsburgh, The Nation, E: The Environmental Magazine, American Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Bill has earned numerous Golden Quill awards from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania. He lives in the neighborhood of Manchester, and he once milked a goat. Email: