Missoula Public Library Announces New Executive Director | Local News
There’s a new head at the Missoula Public Library.
The Missoula City-County Library Board announced Monday that it voted unanimously to select Slaven Lee as its new executive director. Lee replaces Honore Bray, who will retire March 31 after 16 years in the role.
Lee moved from Texas to Missoula, after serving as head of the Client Access Division at the Austin Public Library.
“I am thrilled and honored to be MPL’s next leader,” Lee said. “The staff are outstanding, the community and partners are very engaged, the new building creates so many opportunities, and the branches reach customers beyond downtown.”
Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies from Ohio University and a master’s degree in library and information science from Emporia State University. Lee is also enrolled in the certificate program in public administration at the University of Montana.
In a press release, county communications coordinator Sarah Bell said Lee would be responsible for establishing, directing and coordinating the library’s strategies, programs and activities. Lee will also implement the policies adopted by the Board of Directors and “further develop strong relationships with internal partners and all levels of community stakeholders.”
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“In Slaven, we have found a passionate, committed and inspiring leader,” said Library Board Chair Audra Loyal. “Someone who is dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion, and creating positive change, and we are blessed to have him in our beloved community of Missoula.”
Lee is originally from Ohio but has family in the Bitterroot Valley and a partner from Missoula. She loves hiking, spending time with her dogs and cooking, she said.
“I met so many great people during my interview process and I look forward to working with such great library advocates,” Lee said. “I also look forward to finding even more ways to be inclusive and welcoming.”
Outgoing executive director Bray served as president of the Montana Library Association in 2008 and also led the Pacific Northwest Library Association from 2014 to 2015. The state association named her Montana Librarian of the Year in 2013.
“Honoré was a dedicated and loyal leader and embodied the definition of public servant here in Missoula and beyond,” Loyal said. “His tenure has seen many opportunities, challenges and changes, including overseeing the construction of the new library which opened last year despite the many obstacles the pandemic has thrown in its path.”
Bray leaves a lasting legacy, Loyal said.
“She will be greatly missed by all whose hearts she touched at the library, and we wish her the best in her well-deserved retirement,” Loyal said.