Brenda Brown started her library career 18 years ago as a volunteer at the Chandler Public Library, but will be returning this month as its new director.
Brown will take the helm of the Chandler Public Library system June 28. She started classes in library sciences while working as a library clerk in 1986 and earned a master’s degree in library sciences from the University of Arizona in 1989.
After working her way up to library specialist and then to librarian in Chandler, Brown went to work for the Scottsdale libraries as a reference and youth services librarian.
In 1996, Brown obtained a position with Peoria to open its first branch library and two years later was promoted to library manager.
Brown said she views libraries as community centers that support educational and recreational literacy.
"Libraries have always been democratic institutions," she said. "While bookstores are very important in the United States, many people don’t purchase or can’t purchase books, so the library levels off the playing field because everyone has access to books. That has also happened with computers. Providing access to that digital information is important to me because that prevents the economic poor from becoming the information poor."
"Brenda’s vision and philosophy of library services is community focused and her attitude closely aligned with my belief in creating a sense of ‘Wow’ for our customers," said Mark Eynatten, community services director for the city of Chandler.
Brown said customer service is key to making the library a place where everyone feels comfortable.
She said having a friendly and approachable staff that is understanding and diverse in a way that mirrors the community is very important to providing access to information.
A north Valley resident, Brown enjoys spending time with her husband Mark, their four grown sons and her quarter horses.
She’s also an avid reader who likes listening to books on CD, so she said she won’t mind the commute to work.
"I love books on CD. Give me a book on CD and I’ll go anywhere," she said.
Brown said she has been very fortunate to have worked in Peoria, but looks forward to getting to know the staff at the Chandler libraries and working with the Friends of the Library. Brown will oversee the main library and three branch libraries in Chandler.