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Palo Alto names new library director

Monique Le Conge headed library, cultural services in Richmond from 2004 until last year

Former Richmond library director Monique le Conge has been nominated to head Palo Alto's library system beginning May 31, City Manager James Keene announced Thursday (May 5).

Le Conge was selected from a national field of 37 candidates, six interviewees and two finalists, Keene said in a news statement. She will earn $165,000 a year.

She was director of library and cultural services for the City of Richmond from 2004 until last September and was library director for a year prior to that. She was a director of the Benicia Public Library from 1998 to 2004 and also worked as a children's librarian in Vallejo.

Le Conge has been a lecturer at San Jose State University and worked as a consultant in library affairs.

She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Davis, a master's of library and information studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and is a PhD candidate in managerial leadership in the information professions at Simmons College in Boston.

"I am pleased to be joining the Palo Alto City Library at such an exciting time of facility upgrades in progress and a new library and community center opening in 2012," Le Conge said in a statement.

"Although there are staffing and budgeting challenges ahead, this is the optimum time to refine the vision for the future of Palo Alto's library services.

"I look forward to collaborating with staff and the community to create a library system for this century that offers innovative programs, uses appropriate technology solutions, and embodies the diversity of the community."

Le Conge's contract will be presented to the City Council for approval on May 16, Keene said.

She succeeds Interim Library Director Ned Himmel, who has served since the retirement of former library director Diane Jennings last October.

"Monique has worked over 20 years as a librarian in Northern California and has a breadth of experience, innovation and leadership that will help us shape the future of our library system," Keene said.

"She has led successful efforts to plan, implement and evaluate library programs as well as manage staff, address community needs and oversee facility improvement projects. I am looking forward to her joining our senior leadership team."

Chris Kenrick

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