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With nearly 30 years of experience leading library and branch operations with Chicago Public Library, Andrea Telli is recognized champion of urban libraries. Appointed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in 2019, she oversees one of the largest big-city library systems in the world, with an annual budget of $130 million, 81 branches, three regional hubs and a 750,000-square-foot central library.
Telli is a seasoned leader in setting and delivering on systemwide priorities for Chicago Public Library. In 2012, she was named Assistant Commissioner of Neighborhood Services. In this role, she represented CPL as a mentor librarian through the International Network of Emerging Library Leaders, funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2018, she became Deputy Commissioner of Public Services, adding oversight of CPL’s flagship central library, Harold Washington Library Center to her portfolio.
Prior to her systemwide roles at CPL, Telli was the Central District Chief and manager of the Humboldt Park Branch, among other roles. She received her bachelor of arts in Spanish from Drake University, a master’s in Spanish literature from Georgetown University and a master’s in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.