East Lansing Public Library Welcomes New Library Director

East Lansing Public Library (ELPL) is pleased to welcome Kevin King to the position of library director. The Library Board of Trustees unanimously extended the offer at a special meeting on January 10. King will officially begin his new role on March 4, 2024.

“With assistance from a search committee of committed community members and library staff, the Library Board of Trustees was pleased to interview several qualified candidates for our library director position. We offered the position to Kevin King, who comes with years of library management experience, and who articulated a vision for leading ELPL through staff empowerment and community engagement,” said Trustee Amy Zaagman, Board President. “We are very pleased to share that he accepted our offer and we have successfully negotiated and signed his employment contract today. We encourage everyone to come into the library to welcome Kevin to East Lansing.”

Director Kevin King has worked as a librarian at Kalamazoo Public Library (KPL) for over 26 years in a variety of roles. He started as a teen services librarian, where he built a nationally recognized teen program. From there, he worked as Branch Manager, and later became Head of Branch, Circulation and Information Technology Services. His most recent position was as the Head of Community Engagement, where he managed library branches, community outreach, community engagement, security, and social services teams. He currently serves on the Core Board of Directors for the American Library Association (ALA).

During his time at KPL, King has led a variety of innovative library initiatives, including removing fines on overdue materials, implementing the OneCard program to provide library cards to every Kalamazoo Public Schools student, and implementing the Peer Navigation Program to assist patrons struggling with housing instability, substance use disorder, or mental illness. He helped establish the Amanda Green Scholarship to annually provide a full scholarship to a person of color to earn a master’s degree in an accredited library science program. He also developed KPL’s first Anti-Racism Transformation Team to advance library work in the fields of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

King brings a passion for strategic planning and budgeting, which will aid ELPL as the library begins their strategic planning later this year. King also has expertise in library safety and security, and has been dedicated to implementing trauma-informed library services, policies, and training for staff.

“I am thrilled to be joining the ELPL Team! I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work with an amazing staff dedicated to community, innovation, accessibility, and knowledge,” said Director Kevin King. “In the next few months, I look forward to meeting and listening to as many East Lansing residents as possible. Please do not hesitate to seek me out to let me know what you need from your library.”

Community members are encouraged to come into the library, give Director King a warm welcome, and explore all that the library has to offer. This spring, some of the programs community members can look forward to include: an introduction to gardening program, a “Page to Stage” collaboration with the Williamston Theatre, design and Maker Studio technology workshops, author visits, live performances, and more. All library programs are always free of cost and open to the public. For more information about available programs and services, visit elpl.org.