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


PRESS RELEASE 05/05/2011
Subject :

City Names Monique le Conge as New Library Director
Contact : James Keene, City Manager    650-329-2563
Palo Alto, CA – After a national search and lengthy review process, Palo Alto City Manager James Keene announced his recommendation of Monique le Conge (pronounced luh kawnj) as the new Library Director for Palo Alto. Ms. le Conge most recently served as Director of Library and Cultural Services for the City of Richmond, California. Following City Council approval of her contract on May 16, 2011, Ms. le Conge will begin work in Palo Alto on May 31, 2011, with a salary of $165,000.

In October 2010, the City hired Peckham and McKenney, an executive search firm in California, to assess the qualifications of over 37 candidates from all over the country. Six individuals were invited for a series of panel interviews in March 2011 that included citizens and library stakeholders. The two interview panels recommended three local finalists who were interviewed by the City's Executive Leadership Team and by Library Department staff. The final two candidates were then interviewed by the City Manager, who made the final selection using input from the interview teams.

"Monique has worked over 20 years as a librarian in Northern California and has a breadth of experience, innovation and leadership that will help us shape the future of our library system," said James Keene, City Manager. “She has led successful efforts to plan, implement and evaluate library programs as well as manage staff, address community needs and oversee facility improvement projects. I am looking forward to her joining our senior leadership team.”

Most of Ms. le Conge's experience has been spent in municipal library systems. Most recently, Ms. le Conge worked for the City of Richmond as Director of Library and Cultural Services from 2005-10 and as Library Director from 2004-05 at Richmond Public Library. While in Richmond, Ms. le Conge’s accomplishments included completely renovating two library branches, working with the community to plan for a new main library as well as upgrading and replacing public access computers and the library's computer database and web site interface. Community satisfaction improved so much that the Richmond Library was recognized with an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Transformation Award in 2010.

Prior to working at Richmond, Ms. le Conge served as Library director at the Benicia Public Library from 1995-2004, Youth Services Librarian from 1995-98, and Young Adult Librarian from 1994-95. Additionally, she worked as Children’s Librarian at the John F. Kennedy Library in Vallejo from 1991-94 and at Fairfield-Suisun Library in Fairfield from 1989-90.

As a consultant, Ms. le Conge worked on State Library grants and independently for libraries and library systems, planning and evaluating services and policies, training staff, writing about service improvement, and providing on-site space design recommendations. Ms. le Conge has been both a participant and a mentor at leadership institutes and was president of the California Library Association in 2008. She is a doctoral student completing a PhD in Managerial Leadership in Information Professions at Simmons College in Boston.

“I am pleased to be joining the Palo Alto City Library at such an exciting time of facility upgrades in progress and a new library and community center opening in 2012. Although there are staffing and budgeting challenges ahead, this is the optimum time to refine the vision for the future of Palo Alto’s library services,” said Ms. le Conge. “I look forward to collaborating with staff and the community to create a library system for this century that offers innovative programs, uses appropriate technology solutions, and embodies the diversity of the community.”

Ms. le Conge succeeds Ned Himmel who has served as Interim Library Director since the retirement of long-time employee Diane Jennings in October 2010.