Here’s How You Can Help Choose the Next Boston Public Library President

The search committee wants to hear the public's opinions at an upcoming meeting.

With both its storied past as the oldest public urban library in the nation and a bright potential future, powered by a major strategic plan approved in 2011, the Boston Public Library is in need of an able leader.

Over the summer, Amy Ryan, who took over as the BPL’s first female president in 2008, resigned in the midst of a scandal involving two missing artworks that were later found misfiled in a storage room at the central branch. In the meantime, the BPL’s board of trustees announced that David Leonard, the library’s director of administration and technology, would take over as interim president.

Now, the hunt for a new permanent leader is officially kicking off.

Earlier this week, Mayor Marty Walsh announced the members of the search committee, which is chaired by John Palfrey, the head of the elite Phillips Academy in Andover.

The search committee, which will locate, recruit, interview, and evaluate top candidates alongside a to-be-determined executive search firm, consists of 13 individuals, including longtime BPL employees, Boston Globe alum Ben Bradlee Jr., and a New Mission High School student who serves on the Mayor’s Youth Council.

“I could not be more delighted that such a diverse and experienced group has come together to help find the next president of the Boston Public Library,” said Palfrey in a press release. “We look forward to engaging with people across the City of Boston during the months to come as this search moves forward.”

As part of its efforts, the search committee is recruiting members of the public for their opinions on the qualities that they would like to see in the next BPL president.

On Tuesday, November 10, Palfrey will host the first public listening session at the BPL’s Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Ave. The meeting will take place at 3 p.m.