News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 10/28/2010
Subject :

Palo Alto Resident Appointed as Palo Alto's Interim Library Department Director
Contact : James Keene, City Manager    650-329-2563
Palo Alto, CA – Palo Alto City Manager James Keene announced that Ned Himmel will serve as Interim Library Department Director until a replacement for retiring Director Diane Jennings is hired. Himmel will assume his position with the City on November 8, 2010, and will be paid $80 an hour during his tenure, which is expected to last up to six months.

"Ned is the perfect person to serve in the interim capacity for the next few months. He has extensive public library management experience in the Bay Area and recently has been supporting San Jose's library construction bond program," said Diane Jennings, retiring Library Director. "As a long-time resident and user of the Palo Alto City Library, he understands our community and library system."

Since October 2009, Himmel has been working part time for the San Jose Public Library and overseeing the design, construction and opening of five new branch libraries. Before retiring in August 2009, Himmel worked as Assistant Library Director at the San Jose Public Library from 2001 to 2009. Prior to his work in San Jose, he served as the Chief of the Main San Francisco Library. Himmel has a Masters Degree in Library Science from U.C. Berkeley and resides in Palo Alto.

“I am delighted to be able to serve as interim director. The community, the Library Friends, and the Library Foundation have spoken out loudly in favor of a renaissance for our public library,” said Himmel. “As a community resident for over 30 years and a public librarian for 35, I am excited to be able to be a part of planning new buildings and continuing  the standard of excellent public service Diane and the library staff provide. I wish her a great retirement.”

Executive search firm Peckham and McKenney has been retained by the City to conduct a national recruitment for a new Library director. City Manager James Keene plans to meet with the Library Advisory Commission, Library Foundation, Friends of the Library and Library Department staff in the design of the profile and outreach plan for the next Director.

Diane Jennings, Library Director, retires on November 5, 2010, after 24 years with the City.