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Boston Public Library president Amy Ryan named chair of digital public library of America

May 5, 2015

Boston Public Library

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Boston Public Library President Amy Ryan has been appointed Chair of the Board of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), a term which begins in July and is effective for two years. The Digital Public Library of America ( develops systems to share digital content from American libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other community centers in a centralized, online environment. The DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of items—photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more.

“Amy's deep commitment to enabling access and discoverability of Boston's cultural artifacts transcends across the state and country, and she will be a valuable resource as the Chair of the Digital Public Library of America,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Her leadership and vision ensure our collective history will be preserved and utilized for learners of all ages.”                                                

DPLA, which recently celebrated its second anniversary, announced several milestones at its April conference, including 10 million items in its collection, 1,600 contributing institutions, 15 service hubs  (of which Boston Public Library is one) covering 19 states, and a new PBS LearningMedia and DPLA partnership.

“As she is a founding board member of DPLA and the president of one of America's great public libraries, and the library in which DPLA has its offices, I have already appreciated Amy Ryan's sage advice and incredibly generous hospitality," said Dan Cohen, DPLA's Executive Director. "I'm delighted that Amy will now be chair of our board, and I look forward to working with her to advance DPLA's mission to provide access, for all, to our shared cultural heritage."

Amy Ryan became the first female president of the Boston Public Library in 2008. President Ryan has over 35 years of public library management experience. Before being named to lead the Boston Public Library, she was the director of the nationally recognized Hennepin County Library in Minnesota from 2005 to 2008. Prior to that, President Ryan served in leadership positions for over 28 years with Minneapolis Public Library. She serves on several boards, including the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, the Boston Public Library Foundation, the Associates of the Boston Public Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries Visiting Committee, the Back Bay Association, Boston After School & Beyond, the Copley Square Charitable Trust, and is a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society and a member of the Grolier Club.

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four 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