The Newark Public Library announced recently it has appointed Joslyn Bowling Dixon as its new director, effective Aug. 3.
Bowling Dixon is a distinguished librarian with more than 20 years of experience working in large urban public libraries. She is currently the deputy director of the Prince William Public Library System in Virginia and the chair of the Virginia Library Association’s Librarians of Color Forum and as VLA’s vice president.
“Joslyn steps into the Director role at a time when Newark is a leader in social transformation. The heart and soul of our city has sustained us through the COVID-19 and racial injustice pandemics. In unprecedented times, both Newark and Newark Public Library have shown what progress looks like,” Lauren Wells, president, Newark Public Library board of trustees, said. “The board of trustees is excited to welcome Joslyn because we see in her someone who understands the needs of diverse communities, young people, and families. We are certain her leadership will enhance library partnerships, broaden access to funding, and drive breakthrough programming. I believe Joslyn’s experience, spirit of collaboration, and enthusiasm to become a part of our library and city make her the leader we need for these times, and beyond.”
Bowling Dixon will be responsible for overseeing the Main Library, located at 5 Washington St. in Newark, and its seven community branches. She will also be tasked with advancing the library’s initiatives, like creating partnerships within Newark’s cultural and educational communities; building a a diverse staff; fostering chats and information on social injustice issues; debuting the Philip Roth Personal Library; and supporting fundraising efforts.
“After seeing how Newark Public Library has stepped up to the challenge of COVID-19, I am truly honored to lead it into further unchartered territories. I’ve seen the spectacular results it has achieved in terms of online programming, helping students and families access learning, and meeting a myriad of community needs, including mental health and facing racial injustice,” Bowling Dixon said. “I am ready and able to steer it through the next phase of challenges, as we move between real and virtual worlds, and further strengthen its support and contributions to the Newark community.”