BPL Board picks Leonard as president after initial choice drops out

The Boston Public Library (BPL) Board of Trustees on June 14 picked Interim President David Leonard to remain in that position after its initial choice dropped out, according to a press release.

The board voted to offer the president position to San Jose City librarian Jill Bourne and that move was officially announced. But Bourne then declined the position, citing “personal reasons.”

“I am thrilled David Leonard is the new president of the Boston Public Library and look forward to seeing the BPL thrive under his continued leadership,” said Mayor Martin Walsh, according to the press release. “I am also extremely grateful to all involved in this process over the past year, including the Board of Trustees, Presidential Search Committee Chair John Palfrey and the committee members, and the community for their contributions and input.”

Leonard has been the interim president since July 2015. During that time he has overseen the $78 million renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square and branch improvement projects, such as the current Jamaica Plain Branch renovation.

“I look forward to serving as president of the Boston Public Library and expanding on the many accomplishments of the last year,” said David Leonard, according to the press release. “Extensive knowledge of the institution – its successes and its challenges – and strong working relationships with staff and stakeholders should enable me to be an effective steward and leader of the BPL. Thank you to Mayor Walsh and the Board of Trustees for their confidence and support in my leadership.”

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