Austin Public Library Director Announces Retirement After Nearly 40 Years of Service with the City of Austin

This was originally published several months ago, so it may be out of date.

Monday, November 21, 2016
Contact: Kanya Lyons, 512-974-7379

Austin Public Library Director Announces Retirement After Nearly 40 Years of Service with the City of Austin

After nearly 40 years of dedicated service with the City of Austin, Director of Libraries Brenda Branch has announced that she will retire on December 31, 2016.

“It has been an honor to serve such a diverse and creative community that values reading, learning and innovative thinking,” said Ms. Branch.

As the Director for 25 years, she has overseen the planning and administration of the Austin Public Library system which consists of the Central Library, 20 Branch Libraries, the Austin History Center and Recycled Reads Bookstore.

The City Manager will appoint an interim Director of Libraries prior to Ms. Branch’s retirement. The City of Austin will conduct a nationwide search to fill the position of Director at the Austin Public Library starting in 2017.

“Brenda’s legacy of achievement speaks for itself. She has been a tireless champion of literacy and lifelong learning,” asserts Assistant City Manager Bert Lumbreras.

“Working for the Library has consistently presented new challenges, provided inspiration and yielded fulfillment. It has been a pleasure to work with such a dedicated, hard-working and collaborative team of employees” states Ms. Branch.

She began her career at the Austin Public Library as a Manager of the Mobile Library Station from 1972 to 1975. She returned as Program Development Coordinator in 1977 when the Central Library was still located in the building that is now the Austin History Center. In the 1980s, she served as the Supervisor of Branch Services and the Associate Director for Public Services. 

In 1991, she became the fourth Director of the Austin Public Library. Under the direction of Ms. Branch, the Austin Public Library was named Library Journal’s National Library of the Year, and it won numerous Texas Library Association Program of the Year Awards and many TLA Branding Iron Awards.

As a lifelong champion of literacy, she taught adults to read, created a workplace literacy program, mentored and tutored students in reading and served as the Executive Sponsor for the City of Austin Mentor/Tutor Program since its inception.

“There’s never an ideal time to retire from the job you love, but this is the right time for me,” says Brenda Branch. In her retirement, she plans to spend her time reading, gardening and spending time with her son in Florida.

About the Austin Public Library
The Austin Public Library provides knowledge, technology and inspiration to the Austin community. The Library is a hub of books and education, a meeting place of minds and an incubator of ideas.