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Boston Public Library Presidential Candidates Announced

May 19, 2016

Boston Public Library

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On Saturday, May 21, the Boston Public Library Presidential Search Committee will present: Jill Bourne, City Librarian for the San José Public Library; David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library; and Andrea Sáenz, First Deputy Commissioner for the Chicago Public Library; to the Library Board of Trustees to be interviewed for the position of BPL President. The interviews are open to the public and will be held in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square beginning at 8 a.m.

The three candidate interviews will be conducted in succession by the BPL Board of Trustees. Each interview will be one hour and 15 minutes in length, followed by a brief break between interviews. At the conclusion of the three interviews, the Trustees will vote to extend an offer of employment as President of the Boston Public Library to the selected finalist.

The public is invited to observe the interviews and may submit suggested interview questions prior to the meeting via the email address

BPL Presidential Candidate Bios

Jill Bourne, City Librarian for the San José Public Library

Jill Bourne was appointed City Librarian for the San José Public Library (SJPL) in 2013, a system that includes 23 branch libraries and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, operated in partnership with San José State University.

Jill’s first post in California was as Deputy City Librarian in San Francisco, which she held from 2006-2013. She began her professional career at the Seattle Public Library where she held several positions over nine years – children’s librarian, youth materials selector, head of the Central Library, and, finally, Assistant Director for Public Services.

Jill holds a bachelor’s degree in English from New York University and a master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.

David Leonard, Interim President of the Boston Public Library

David Leonard is the Interim President at the Boston Public Library. Prior to his appointment in 2015, he was the Director of Administration and Technology (a position he still holds concurrently). In his seven years at the BPL, David has also served at various times as both the acting Director of Administration & Finance and separately as acting Chief Financial Officer. He was first hired as the Chief Technology Officer in 2009. David recently began a PhD program in Library Information Science at Simmons College.

Prior to the Boston Public Library, David initially pursued an academic career, transitioned to the non-profit sector and then spent ten years in the private IT consulting world in roles that spanned business development, management and technology consulting, working on both strategic and tactical projects and services. David holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University College Dublin. He originally came to Boston for post graduate work in the Philosophy doctoral program at Boston College.

Andrea Sáenz, First Deputy Commissioner for the Chicago Public Library

Andrea Sáenz serves as First Deputy Commissioner for the Chicago Public Library, a citywide system of 80 neighborhood branches. Before joining the Library in 2012, Andrea served as chief of staff to Chicago Public Schools CEO. She was previously policy advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Vocational and Adult Education at the US Department of Education in Washington, DC and executive director of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), a national organization working collaboratively with business and non-profit employers, universities and schools to increase Latinos’ access to and success in professional and management careers.

Andrea completed graduate studies as a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies from Scripps College and a Master’s degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania. Andrea is from Quito, Ecuador and grew up in Los Angeles, California.


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