The Board of Trustees of the Bridges Library System has announced the selection of Karol Kennedy as the new system director.

She will succeed Connie Meyer, who before assuming that role six years ago was director of the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson.

Kennedy has been the library director at the Menomonee Falls Public Library since 2016. Prior to that, she worked as the deputy director at the Waukesha Public Library for more than five years.

The Bridges Library System provides support services to 24 public libraries in Waukesha and Jefferson counties, including planning, budgeting, professional development, summer reading programs, and the infrastructure to share books, databases, and other materials among the libraries in the system.

“Karol has the knowledge and experience to lead this collaborative and innovative system into the future,” said Linda Ager, board president for the Bridges Library System. “She has exceptional interpersonal skills that will ensure the needs of all libraries in Waukesha and Jefferson counties, whether small, medium, or large, will be met.”

A nine-person committee consisting of board members and local public library directors led the search for the library system’s next director. Both the hiring committee and the Bridges Library System board voted unanimously to select Kennedy.

Kennedy earned her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1997. She started at the Waukesha Public Library in 1992, serving in several departments before being named deputy director in 2011. During her time there, she developed the Waukesha Reads program and was part of the team recognized by the Wisconsin Library Association as Wisconsin Library of the Year in 2011. Most recently, she secured plans and support for a library renovation project to begin in 2020 at the Menomonee Falls Public Library.

“I truly believe in the power of libraries to transform lives and strengthen communities,” Kennedy said. “I am thrilled for this opportunity to work with the extraordinary Bridges Library System team to support and strengthen the 24 libraries in Waukesha and Jefferson counties.”

Meyer, who is retiring in March after serving the library system for more than six years, lauded Kennedy’s selection.

“I am pleased the organization will be in such good hands,” Meyer said. “Karol is an outstanding library professional and leader who will lead the Bridges Library System with competence and genuine passion for our mission.”

Kennedy will begin her role at the Bridges Library System on March 16.

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