Executive Hand-Off: Setting the Stage for a New Director at LWB US
To the Libraries Without Borders US community,
I couldn’t be more proud today. With just 10 staff members, Libraries Without Borders US oversees grassroots education programs in Minnesota, Texas, Maryland, California, Michigan, and Puerto Rico. We work in laundromats and manufactured housing developments, churches and community gardens. For more than a thousand families every year, the Wash and Learn Initiative delivers internet, computers, and regular classes on topics ranging from English-language learning to rental assistance. COVID-19 put a pause on our in-person programs but never stopped us. Instead, we delivered hundreds of computers and hotspots directly to families in need while helping to create new advocacy organizations like the Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition and new resources like the Wash and Learn Initiative toolkit.
We share a core conviction that high-quality education should be within reach for all people, but we also believe that LWB US cannot work in isolation. Instead, to reach our goals, we work with libraries, small business owners, community associations, housing developments, and so many more local institutions to help them lead, innovate, and expand their reach. In our own lingo, we call this the “hand-off,” the moment when partners turn an LWB US project into their own.
This November, I will lead my own hand-off when I step down as Executive Director of Libraries Without Borders US. After more than 4 years advancing access to information, I believe it’s time to let others step forward and accelerate our work into a new era. I’m grateful for and proud of the tireless staff at LWB US and the resilient communities with whom we work. When schools and libraries closed their buildings, LWB US stepped up to ensure that families had access to internet, books, computers, and tailored support. We have created city, statewide, and even national movements to inspire reading and digital literacy in laundromats, housing developments, parks, and churches.
I can’t wait to see where LWB US goes next and am committed to ensuring that my transition is seamless. Today, the Board of Directors is launching a search to identify the next Executive Director of LWB US. Here is the job description. Next year, I’ll stay on as a part-time consultant with the international arm of LWB US, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, in order to ensure both a smooth transition and the build-out of increased ties between the US and the international headquarters in Paris.
In the meantime, I’ll be working with all of you — friends, partners, and supporters of LWB US — to set the stage for the next Executive Director and the next 4 years so that all people, regardless of their circumstances, can read, learn, and thrive in this country.
Handing it off,