Akron-Summit County Public Library Director David Jennings plans to retire on March 31, 2018, after serving the library system for nearly 40 years, leading the organization through many phases of innovation, like a successful levy campaign, expansion of the system, a Tech Center at the Main Library and a robust electronic book collection.
The announcement to the Library’s Board of Trustees will allow the Board to conduct a search for a replacement. It will also enable Jennings to see several projects through to completion, particularly the establishment of a Springfield-Lakemore satellite facility, a recently-begun strategic planning process and placement of the library app on Akron Public School’s student computers.
By the time he retires in 2018, Jennings will have worked at ASCPL for nearly 37 years, serving as director since 2004. From 1998 to 2008, he played a key role in the planning, construction and opening of 15 new branch libraries and the downtown Main Library. From 2009 through 2015, Jennings successfully managed the library during a seven-year period of significantly reduced funding. Despite the operational reductions necessary during this time, ASCPL has received national recognition as a Star Library each year since 2009 by Library Journal.
Active in the community, Jennings has served on the boards of local organizations, including the Akron Roundtable, Akron Urban League, United Way of Summit County and Downtown Akron Partnership. At the state level, he served on the Ohio Library Council Board of Directors. He is currently the Board President of the Summit Education Initiative.
“I feel very fortunate to have found my working home here in 1981. Since that time our library has truly evolved: physically, from old buildings to new; technologically, from card catalog to mobile app; and philosophically, from collection-centered to community-connected. Such development of the library would not have been possible without the repeated passage of local property tax levies by voters, for which I am very thankful,” said Jennings.
“It has been an honor to work for a very supportive board, to serve the public alongside a terrific, committed staff, and to participate in many collaborative efforts to make Akron and Summit County a great place to live,” he added. “I am particularly proud that the library has become a community-focused organization that raises its hand to help with positive initiatives of all kinds.”
Library Board President Ray Weber said, “David’s knowledge, dedication and enthusiasm for the library will be difficult to replace. The Board is anxious to find a successor to continue in the tradition he has set.”
Composed of Main Library, 17 branch libraries and mobile services, the Akron-Summit County Public Library provides resources for learning and leisure, information services, meeting spaces, and programs for all ages that support, improve, and enrich individual, family, and community life. For more information about the programs and services of the Akron-Summit County Public Library, visit akronlibrary.org and https://www.facebook.com/AkronLibrary.