After years apart, one alumnus is returning to his Green Bay area roots.
Brian Simons, a 1998 History graduate, has been appointed the new director of the Brown County Library System.
“The board is extremely impressed with Brian’s experience, knowledge and commitment,” said Board President Kathy Pletcher. “His results-driven leadership style, record of innovation, fiscal management, team building, and community involvement makes him the leader that the Board was seeking to head Brown County Library.”
After graduating from UW-Green Bay, Simons has had a 13-year career in public libraries across the state, including working at libraries in Manitowoc, Delavan, and Verona. During his time as the director of the Verona Public Library, the library was honored with the prestigious Wisconsin Library of the Year award.
His return to Green Bay was motivated both by the family he still has in the Green Bay area, and the potential he sees in the Brown County Library System.
“Their focus on cultural diversity mixed into the other three main focus points, those being early literacy education, economic and business development support, and providing a space for community engagement, sets the foundation for a library that can do some very impressive things for the communities it serves,” he said.
In addition to his work within the library, Simons is active in national organizations, often advocating for library legislation and financial support for public libraries.
Simons looks forward to building relationships in the community and giving people as many opportunities as possible to transform their lives for the better.
“I believe public libraries, much like the entire Wisconsin Idea, can be incredible resources and valued assets to businesses,” he said. “They can provide space for meetings, training, and other activities. Libraries can provide the research support that many small businesses cannot afford. Lastly, libraries can be a focal point that can ignite redevelopment in a city.”
Simons began his position on March 2, 2015, succeeding Lynn Stainbrook, who served as library director from February 2008 to October 2014.
Story by Katelyn Staaben, editorial intern, Marketing and University Communication
Photo by Eric Miller, Marketing and University Communication