March 6, 2012— The New York Public Library has named Ann Thornton its Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries, responsible for collection development, preservation, reference and research services, and exhibitions at four world-renowned Research Libraries and 87 Branch Libraries.
Ms. Thornton has been at NYPL since 1996, when she was hired at the Science, Industry, and Business Library as its first public training coordinator. She subsequently held positions as he Assistant Director of Electronic Resources, the Associate Director of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library, and Director of Reference and Research Services.
Most recently, she was Acting Andrew W. Mellon Director of the New York Public Libraries.
"In her 15-plus years at NYPL, Ann has established herself as a paragon of collegiality and a leader promoting the highest standards of excellence," said Library President Anthony Marx. "She has done a superb job as the Acting Andrew W. Mellon Director, leading with her signature grace, authority, and wide-ranging expertise. The important steps she has taken in moving the Library forward in collection sharing have been especially notable: opening up the collections and making them more accessible both physically and digitally to record numbers of users, developing formal partnerships with NYU and Columbia University, and developing the HathiTrust collaborations. She is recognized as an authority for libraries everywhere on a myriad of topics ranging from library-use instruction to e-books and the Internet in libraries, and we are proud to name her the Library's Andrew W. Mellon Director."
Ms. Thornton has a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MLIS from Florida State University. Early in her career,Thornton served as a systems librarian at the University of Houston Libraries, and more recently, she was a Research Libraries Leadership Fellow in a program sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries.
“I'm deeply honored to be named Andrew W. Mellon Director.,” said Ms. Thornton. “The New York Public Library has a deeply committed and talented staff, and I never stop learning from them. I am excited about the incredible opportunities we have to serve users better as a destination – both onsite and online – that facilitates learning and the development of new ideas, scholarship, products, businesses, and works of art.”
About The New York Public Library
The New York Public Library was created in 1895 with the consolidation of the private libraries of John Jacob Astor and James Lenox with the Samuel Jones Tilden Trust. The Library provides free and open access to its physical and electronic collections and information, as well as to its services. It comprises four research centers – housed, respectively, in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building; The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; and the Science, Industry and Business Library – and 88 neighborhood libraries in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island. Research and circulating collections combined total more than 50 million items, including materials for the visually impaired. In addition, each year the Library presents thousands of exhibitions and public programs, which include classes in technology, literacy, and English as a second language. The New York Public Library serves more than 18 million patrons who come through its doors annually and another 25 million users internationally, who access collections and services through the NYPL website, www.nypl.org.