Tom FaySeattle Public Library Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Tom Fay, the Library’s current Director of Programs and Services, to the role of Interim Chief Librarian beginning April 1. He will step into the role following the departure of the Library's current Executive Director and Chief Librarian, Marcellus Turner, whose last day will be March 31.

Board President Jay Reich expressed great confidence that the Library will be in good hands under Fay’s watch.

“Tom brings to this role a steady hand and depth of experience that gives me great confidence in his ability to successfully lead the Library as we work through the search for Seattle’s next Chief Librarian,” said Reich. “We are very fortunate to have such an experienced leader who knows our system, our staff and our community well, and we are thankful he was willing to step into this role.”

Fay began his 38-year library career as a library page in southern Nevada. Prior to joining The Seattle Public Library as Director of Programs and Services in 2015, he held roles as the Executive Director of Henderson Libraries in Nevada and the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Clark County Library District in Nevada.

“I am honored by this appointment, and I look forward to leading the Library through this leadership transition,” Fay said.

The Library Board also announced the creation of a Search Advisory Committee, comprising nine members who will support the Board in recommending a search consultant, drafting the Chief Librarian position profile, recruiting candidates, screening applicants and recommending finalists to the Board. The committee will soon start the work of selecting a consultant.

The Search Advisory Committee includes the following members:

  • Vaughnetta Barton, Committee Chair, former Library board member; former practicum instructor for the University of Washington’s School of Social Work
  • Cindy Aden, Professor of Practice and Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the University of Washington Information School; former Washington State Librarian
  • Carmen Bendixen, Library board member and senior transportation planner for Washington State Ferries; former Friends of The Seattle Public Library board president
  • Anne Cisney, AFSCME Local 2083 union president, The Seattle Public Library
  • Tali Hairston, Library board member; director of Advocacy, Organizing and Development for Seattle Presbytery
  • Yazmin Mehdi, former Library Strategic Planning and Projects assistant for the Chief Librarian; former Library Council of Washington board member; former district director for Representative Pramila Jayapal
  • Robin Mendelson, Seattle Foundation board member; senior fellow for Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative
  • Jonna Ward, CEO of The Seattle Public Library Foundation
  • Rona Zevin, Former Friends of the Seattle Public Library board president



The Seattle Public Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. We promote literacy and a love of reading as we bring people, information and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.

Visit the Library’s Road to Reopening page to find out about our Curbside services and online programs while the Library is closed, or contact the Library by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information during this challenging time.