Press Room

Boston Public Library Presidential Search Continues

by rlavery

The position for President of the Boston Public Library is now available on the City of Boston website for interested applicants to apply. In addition, executive search firm Spencer Stuart is actively recruiting candidates from across the country. To craft the position description, Spencer Stuart worked closely with the BPL Presidential Search Committee to ensure that community feedback from seven public listening sessions held across the city were incorporated.

“We received insightful feedback from the community regarding desired qualities for the president role; and now we are moving this process into the next stage and will begin identifying strong candidates to lead this great institution,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

“I am extremely thankful to all who attended the listening sessions or sent comments, and request that you continue with the feedback. These comments will enrich the interview process and ensure the community’s voice is present,” said John Palfrey, Chair of the BPL Presidential Search Committee.

“This position description calls for a well-rounded candidate with strong leadership and partnership skills,” said Spencer Stuart consultants Mary Gorman and Michele Haertel. “We look forward to presenting Mayor Walsh, the BPL Board of Trustees, the BPL Presidential Search Committee, and residents of Boston and the Commonwealth with a strong selection of finalists this spring.”

The presidency of the BPL requires strong leadership, focused both internally and externally, supporting affiliates’ fundraising activities, active community building, collaboration with the school system and other city organizations involved in the mission of lifelong learning, as well as management and oversight of BPL operations.

To apply or nominate a candidate for the position of BPL President, please send an email with resume and cover letter, if applicable, to Finalist interviews with the BPL Board of Trustees will be open to the public, and announced when a date for the interviews is determined.

Seven Presidential Search Public Listening Sessions have been held since November with members of the community attending and describing the qualities they would like to see in the next BPL president. For those unable to attend a listening session, comments may be submitted to Search Chair John Palfrey via or using the Twitter handle @jpalfrey. Comments are still being accepted and will be used to inform the interviews for candidates.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, 24 branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit