Public library director announces retirement

June 13, 2018 by  

Kim Fender, who has been Director of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County for the last 19 years, recently announced that she plans to retire. She has been with the library system for a total of 30 years.

During Fender’s tenure as director. the library system received many awards and accolades. In 2013, the Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded the library its National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Medals are awarded to outstanding museums and libraries that make significant contributions to their communities’ wellbeing.

One measure of the appreciation residents have for their library may be the fact that voters just approved a levy that will raise more operating funds for the institution and allow it to avoid deficit spending. In 2017, the Cincinnati system was second only to New York City’s in its circulation figures.

Fender said that working with the staff and the community has made the Cincinnati system one of the nation’s best and busiest public libraries. In the last 20 years, its circulation has increased by 50%, and the number of patrons holding library cards has increased by over 20%.

Paula Brehm-Heeger, who currently serves as the chief strategy and technology officer, will replace Fender as interim director. Fender plans to retire June 30.

Officials in a situation like this might say thank you to a retiree by presenting suitable corporate gifts.