COLORADO SPRINGS — Chief Librarian and CEO of the Pikes Peak Library District, John Spears, announced his departure for a new opportunity after more than six years of service to residents of El Paso County. He will become head of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library with 36 locations in Western New York, beginning in mid-April.
Spears has run the Pikes Peak Library District – made up of 16 locations, three mobile library services and a large online resource center and overseen 400 staff and 550 volunteers – since 2016. PPLD has eliminated overdue fines for most materials of the library, opened the Calhan Library to expand access in rural areas, established a co-location partnership between the Manitou Springs Library and the Manitou Art Center, and relaunched the Knights of Columbus Hall as a space community in downtown Colorado Springs.
The district also launched a new food industry training program and student access partnerships with local school districts, as well as two new utilities. A social worker was added to the staff to help clients navigate community resources during difficult times and a new department focusing on equity, diversity and inclusion was also introduced.
“It has been a great honor to lead PPLD and its dedicated staff through times of uncertainty, change, growth and opportunity,” said Spears. “Along with those serving on PPLD’s Board of Directors and leadership team, I am confident that the transition will be smooth and that staff will continue to connect people with what they need to improve their lives and the Pikes Peak area.”
During his service, PPLD received the prestigious four-star rating from the library newspaper for several years and in 2019 was named “District of the Year” by the Special District Association of Colorado.
“The Board is beyond grateful to John for his leadership, commitment and accomplishments during his tenure with our library district,” said Dr. Ned Stoll, Chairman of the PPLD Board. . “John has positioned us for continued success in the future, where all residents of El Paso County can access information, resources, services and opportunities. We wish him all the best in his new state, his new city and his new role.
The PPLD Board of Directors will appoint Teona Shainidze Krebs as Chief Librarian and Interim CEO. She is currently the Director of Public Services and Deputy Head Librarian of the Library.