Board names Lois Langer Thompson as Sno-Isle Libraries executive director

Lois Langer Thompson photo
Lois Langer Thompson (Public reception photo gallery)

Lois Langer Thompson will be the next executive director for Sno-Isle Libraries.

Thompson is currently director at Hennepin County Library, which serves Minneapolis and the surrounding county. Her appointment was announced at the Aug. 27 Board of Trustees meeting and follows a nationwide search. Thompson and two other finalists for the position recently spent three days in Snohomish and Island counties for building tours, public meetings and interviews.

“I join the rest of the board in our unanimous welcome to Lois to Sno-Isle Libraries,” said Marti Anamosa, board president. “Lois distinguished herself from a strong field of applicants and we’re confident in her ability to lead the library district.”

The executive director position is hired by the Board of Trustees. A three-member committee, including Anamosa and trustees Susan Kostick and Rico Tessandore, conducted the search with the assistance of Library Strategies International LLC.  Six semifinalists from across the country were identified from an initial field of 19 applicants. Three finalists were chosen following initial interviews in late July.

“It is a great honor to be invited to lead Sno-Isle Libraries as the next executive director,” Thompson said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the Board, staff members and communities to keep Sno-Isle Libraries as an innovative library and welcoming to everyone.

“My husband, Jeff, and I are thrilled to be moving to the Puget Sound area and already feel like we are coming home.”

Thompson has been director at Hennepin County Library for 10 years. During that time, she led the merger of Minneapolis and Hennepin systems, built or expanded nine libraries and renovated 18 others and worked with the Friends of Hennepin County Library to increase annual funding from $250,000 to $1.2 million.

Under her direction, Hennepin County Library partnered with Somali, Native American and Latino communities to extend and embed library services in the community. Thompson is a member of the Public Library Association’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.

Thompson is expected to start at Sno-Isle Libraries on Dec. 3, 2018.

Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, the current executive director, will retire Nov. 30, 2018 after more than 33 years with the library district and the past 16 years as executive director.