The New Orleans Public Library Board of Directors approved Gabriel Morley as the new Library Executive Director/City Librarian at a special board meeting held earlier today. The NOPL Board voted unanimously to recommend Morley after a six-month national search.
“I am very proud to have Dr. Gabriel Morley as the new leader of the New Orleans Public Library. Dr. Morley comes to the City of New Orleans with 15 years of experience in executive library leadership, and he has my full support as we continue to build upon the great work that NOPL does for the city every day. With Dr. Morley at the helm, we will build libraries for the future — libraries that harness technology to enhance learning, libraries that are responsive to the unique communities in which they are situated, and libraries that have an open door to everyone — regardless of their literacy level, socioeconomic status, age, race or creed. In partnership with Dr. Morley, I look forward to embarking upon this next phase as we strengthen a system of libraries across our city that our people deserve,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.
“The Office of Youth and Families is thrilled to welcome Dr. Gabriel Morley back to his native Louisiana to lead the New Orleans Public Library system. Dr. Morley's vision for libraries as essential anchors in a healthy and thriving city aligns perfectly with Office of Youth and Family’s focus on leveraging all of our community assets to improve lives,” said Emily Wolff, Director of Office of Youth and Families.
Morley will be responsible for the administration and management of 230 employees, 15 library locations, and overall library services, products, and programming, for the 393,292 residents of Orleans Parish. In 2018, NOPL welcomed 1,571,611 visitors into its 15 locations and circulated 1,617,117 items. In his interview before the search committee, he stressed that the library is a laboratory for ideas. Among his priorities are working toward a strategic plan for the system and renewing the library's upcoming millage.
Dr. Morley grew up in Slidell and is currently the executive director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. He earned a master's degree in library science and a doctorate in adult education from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is expected to take the helm at NOPL beginning early January 2020.
"I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve as the city librarian of New Orleans," said Dr. Morley. "I want to thank the search committee, as well as the library board and Mayor Cantrell for their support. The New Orleans Public Library has a profound history and a bright future. I look forward to working with the people of New Orleans, as well as the library's hard-working and dedicated staff, the library board, Mayor Cantrell, the City Council, and our partners at the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library and the NOPL Foundation."