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For Immediate Release November 5, 2018

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Pat Ryan
Jefferson County Library Cooperative

Website: http://PublicLibrariesInJC.org | Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeffcolibrary |Twitter: http://twitter.com/JeffCoLibAL

The Jefferson County Library Cooperative, Inc. Announces New Executive Director

Tobin CataldoPatricia Ryan, current executive director, is retiring after leading JCLC for twenty years under the governance of their Board of Directors.

Ryan began her library career in 1978 at the Birmingham Public Library (BPL). After five years at BPL, in 1983 she was selected as the assistant director of the newly formed Hoover Public Library. There were three full-time employees at the time. After two years Ryan’s interest led into the field of youth services and she was appointed Youth Services coordinator and held that position during the building phase of the current library facility. She completed her Masters of Library Service from the University of Alabama in 1990. In 1997, ready for a new challenge, Ryan accepted the appointment as executive director of the Jefferson County Library Cooperative.

"One of my favorite memories of being director of the JCLC was in 1998 when Alabama accepted the Gates Library Foundation Initiative as their first state project to improve technology in public libraries," said Patricia Ryan, Current Executive JCLC Director.

Jefferson County benefited by receiving a grant in the amount of $578,156 and added 329 computers and equipment for member libraries bringing the total number of PCs from 425 to 754. In 2018 the 40 Public Libraries in Jefferson County have 1,455 public and staff PCs. Under Ryan’s leadership the JCLC also received the Birmingham Business Journal’s Nonprofit Award.

The 40th anniversary of the cooperative has demonstrated the loyalty of JCLC member libraries as the organization continues to link all 40 library locations under one umbrella.

"I feel exciting times are ahead for JCLC as technology continues to change libraries and they continue to adapt to meet those challenges," said Ryan.

The JCLC Board of Directors voted to appoint Tobin Cataldo as their new executive director starting in December.

"The Board has full confidence that the Library Cooperative, made up of 22 local public libraries funded locally by their cities, in Jefferson County (40 locations), will be in good hands," said JCLC President Deborah Fout, director Homewood Public Library. "We are excited to see what innovations are on the horizon for JCLC."

Tobin Cataldo is a 13-year employee of Birmingham Public Library (City of Birmingham). He holds a Masters of Library Science from the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University.

"For 40 years, JCLC has demonstrated a working model of inter-municipal cooperation. The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, the Greater Birmingham Regional Planning Commission, cities, towns, and other community organizations recognize that effective collaboration can result in new efficiencies, cost-savings, standardization and less duplication of services," said Cataldo. "In this next iteration, JCLC will work to increase opportunities for cross-boundary facilitation and cooperation to drive costs down and service up. As a believer in public libraries, I stand firm in my belief that regardless of the district or municipality or any other perceived boundary, when we seek to put forth the tools and the systems to help develop a smarter and more informed community, we all win."

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