London native on the books as new library director

Messenger photo by Kristy Zurbrick
Bryan Howard is the new director of London Public Library. He starts March 1.

(Posted Feb. 15, 2017)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Bryan Howard knows the London Public Library from the ground up.

Born and raised in London, he became a library regular as soon as he was allowed to ride his bike to and from the East First Street facility. He landed his first job there in 1997 when, at the age of 15, he became a student page.

Twenty years later, he is the library’s new director. On Feb. 13, the seven-member library board tapped Howard to replace Mike Hensel, who resigned in December to take a job in Dayton Metro Library System.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to come home,” said Howard, currently director of the New Carlisle Library in Clark County.

With the exception of his time in New Carlisle, which began in October 2015, Howard has spent his entire career at London Public Library.

After graduating from London High School in 2000, he continued to work at the library part-time while studying business management at Capital University. With his bachelor’s degree in hand, he was hired full-time in 2004 as the library’s adult services coordinator.

Six years later, Howard earned a master’s degree in library science from Kent State University and soon after was named library services manager.

“To see how far the library has come in 25 years, I want to see what will happen in the next 25 years. I just want to be a part of it,” he said.

Howard was one of 20 candidates who applied for the directorship. Of those, he was one of a few whose experience started at the page level—shelving books and helping with odds and ends.

“Bryan has worked in all stages, from the very basic. That gives him a perspective on everybody’s job, and that’s very valuable,” said Karen Wells, library board president.

In addition to being one of a handful of candidates with experience as a library director, Howard brings to the job a love of London.

“He is a London person, and he sincerely loves this library and this community and wants the library to be the kind of hub a library should be for a community,” Wells said.

Howard lives in London with his wife, Hannah, and daughters, Hannah, 8, and Sophia, 18 months. He starts his new job as director of London Public Library on March 1.


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