Longtime Tulare County Librarian Brian Lewis announced today that he will retire after 39 years of public service. Lewis’ last day will be Saturday, December 29, 2012.
“On behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I would like to thank Brian for his decades of dedicated public service,” said Allen Ishida, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. "We appreciate that Brian worked tirelessly to bring and maintain critical services to Tulare County and believe the county benefitted under his leadership.”
The County Librarian is responsible for planning, directing and evaluating the operation of Tulare County Library services. The Tulare County Library operates 15 branches countywide and provides library services, including reader’s advisory, information retrieval, and programming. The Library’s collection includes more than 300,000 volumes of books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and audio books.
Lewis was hired by Tulare County on September 19, 1983 as County Librarian. Prior to holding his position with Tulare County, Lewis served for 10 years in a variety of library positions with Los Angeles County, Clark County in Nevada, and the City of Brigham in Utah.
Under Lewis’ leadership in Tulare County, the Tulare County Library Foundation and the Friends of Tulare County Library were established; major renovations of several libraries – Earlimart, Ivanhoe, and Visalia – were finished; new services were created with a historically low budget; and he helped bring County libraries into the digital age by introducing book machines, e-readers, and other web-based tools that helped improve access to residents.
“I have been extremely fortunate to work with so many caring individuals in my career with Tulare County,” Lewis said. “I truly believe that public libraries are the great American Institution. A public library helps people who want to help themselves. My main goal when coming to Tulare County was to leave the library a better place due to my leadership. With the help of great staffs, wonderful support groups, a loving family, and patient county employees and administrators I feel that my goal was met. I thank you for the opportunity to serve.”