On Tuesday, August 28, 2018, the Glendale City Council confirmed the appointment of Dr. Gary Shaffer as the City’s Director of Library, Arts and Culture. Dr. Shaffer is currently wrapping up duties at the University of Southern California where he runs the Center for Library Leadership and Management, as well as a Master of Management program in Library & Information Science at the Marshall School of Business.
Prior to USC, Shaffer served the Brooklyn, County of Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulsa City-County library systems. At Tulsa, Shaffer served as Chief Executive Officer where, over a six year period in that role, he and his team completely remade library service to better meet the needs of 21st Century customers. This included new procedures, processes, strategies, and technology. Under his leadership, the library system was named a Star Library by Library Journal, it received an Oklahoma Quality Award from the state’s governor, it was named a healthy business by the state health department, and it received a Mosaic Diversity Award from the local chamber of commerce.
Shaffer is an author of scholarly articles, a book chapter, and has a book from ABC CLIO's Libraries Unlimited entitled Creating the Sustainable Public Library. He speaks domestically and internationally, and has advocated for copyright reform on behalf of libraries and archives as a member of the IFLA delegation to the UNs' World Intellectual Property Organization's Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights in Geneva, Switzerland.
“I am pleased to appoint Shaffer and bring him on board to lead Glendale’s Library, Arts and Culture Department in this transformative time,” said City Manager Yasmin Beers. “Integrating Shaffer’s international presence and wealth of experience in the field with Glendale’s diversity provides tremendous opportunities to enhance our artistic, historic, and cultural wealth.”
Shaffer possesses a Ph.D. in Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions from Simmons College, as well as masters’ degrees in Library and Information Science from the Pratt Institute, intellectual property law from the University of Turin Department of Law, and professional writing from the University of Southern California. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Public Library Association and a past councilor-at-large of the American Library Association. He was named one of 50 people shaping the future of libraries by a leading industry publication in 2006. In 2014 he was awarded an Oklahoma Library Association Special Project Award for his fundraising work to help rebuild two Oklahoma school libraries destroyed by a tornado the prior year.
Mayor Zareh Sinanyan stated, “Glendale is a cultural capital and I am confident that Dr. Shaffer’s extensive experience will be invaluable in helping us build upon our successes. His track record of innovation and leadership will drive our outstanding library system to even greater heights.”
Prior to working in libraries, Shaffer resided in Glendale and supervised Fortune 500 accounts for various advertising agencies.
For more information about Glendale Library, Arts and Culture click here.