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CHICAGO – Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced his nomination of Brian Bannon for Library Commissioner, replacing Mary Dempsey, who has stepped down after nearly 18 years as Commissioner. The Mayor also announced two appointments to the Library Board of Directors: Linda Johnson Rice, whom he is recommending for president, and Lynn Lockwood.
“Brian Bannon has the experience and vision to lead the Chicago Public Library and guide its expansion in the digital world,” said Mayor Emanuel. “It is more important than ever that our libraries provide children, students and families with resources to learn and grow. With his expertise in digital technology, Brian will expand the online resources of the Chicago Public Library and broaden the horizons of those who rely on it.”
Bannon is currently the Chief Information Officer at the San Francisco Public Library, where he is responsible for its digital strategy, information technology, web media, and online services. Bannon also served as Chief of Branches and managed the staff and operations for San Francisco's neighborhood libraries and had a central role in implementing the $200 million branch library improvement program.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to expand the library, engage new users and build new services beyond the four walls,” said Bannon. “The Chicago Public Library is already a national leader in educational media for teens and I look forward to working with the Library staff to build on that great foundation."
Mayor Rahm Emanuel also announced the nominations of Linda Johnson Rice and Lynn Lockwood to the Board of Directors.
Linda Johnson Rice is President and CEO of Johnson Publishing Company (JPC). Headquartered in Downtown Chicago, JPC is the publisher of preeminent African-American magazines such as JET and Ebony. A graduate of Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Linda has won numerous awards and honors, including being named one of Chicago's 100 Most Powerful Women and one of the Top 10 Women in Media by the Chicago Sun-Times. Under her leadership, JPC’s corporate mission focuses on education, financial literacy, and AIDS prevention.
“This is the first time that a major publisher has been named to the Board of The Chicago Public Library, bringing together these two important sectors,” said Mayor Emanuel. “As a publisher, Linda knows the importance of innovation to keep pace with today’s changing media landscape. She will bring Chicago’s libraries into the digital future as she has done with Johnson Publishing. Linda Johnson Rice and her family have helped to build the Chicago that we know today and I cannot think of anyone better to help build the future of the Chicago Public Library.”
Lynn Lockwood has over 25 years of professional experience in the creative, non-profit, and political fields, Lynn will bring her dedication to the city’s cultural and intellectual life to her work on the Board of the Chicago Public Library. For over 8 years she worked with the Department of Cultural Affairs, creating programs and helping manage the Chicago Cultural Center and the nationally recognized After School Matters program.
“Lynn has a long history enriching the cultural life of Chicago, including the children of our great city,” said Mayor Emanuel. “She will be able to draw on her experience as a founding Board member of Chicago Children’s Theater and as a member of the Board of Trustees for Steppenwolf Theater Company.
Johnson Rice and Lockwood will replace Jayne Carr Thompson and Judy Rice.
Dempsey plans to continue her work as the President of the Philip H. Corboy Foundation as well as working with the DePaul University Board of Trustees. Under her leadership, the Chicago Public Library embraced technology, launched a capital campaign which resulted in an unprecedented expansion of branch libraries and started the award-winning "One Book, One Chicago" citywide book club.