The Boston Public Library’s Board Picks Interim President

As Amy Ryan exits, the BPL's tech administrator steps up.

boston public library

Photo by Meredith Foley

David Leonard has been chosen by the Boston Public Library’s board of trustees as its interim president as Amy Ryan makes her way to the exits as president of the system in the aftermath of a missing artwork debacle.

Leonard, an administrator for the library system since 2009, is popular with the Walsh administration and was unanimously approved by the board at their Thursday meeting.

Leonard has worked at the library as its director of administration and technology, a position that oversees digital aspects of the BPL’s operations. He was nominated by Ryan.

Ryan resigned from her position after two pieces in the library’s collection of artwork valued at an estimated $630,000 went missing. The items, an etching by Rembrandt and an engraving by Albrecht Dürer, were found the day after she submitted her resignation in the aftermath of a contentious board meeting.

Leonard said in a statement that the library “will continue to deliver our core services to the residents of Boston, the State of Massachusetts, and beyond, as we move ahead on planned improvements, especially in the areas of collections management and security.”

A recent audit of the BPL system showed room for improvement in several areas like fundraising, management culture, and the digitalization of “non-circulating” items.

Ryan took over as as the first ever female president of the BPL in 2008.