Local news. Locally owned.
We put readers first.

Gates Foundation librarian named to lead Boise Public Library

Idaho's Biggest Toy Drive

Ten months after the resignation of the city’s former library director, Boise’s public library system has a new leader.

On Thursday, Boise Public Library’s Board of Trustees announced Deputy Director of Global Libraries for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Jessica Dorr as their pick to head up the city’s network of libraries. Dorr, who is currently based in Seattle, was selected after a nationwide search by a consultant garnering 26 applications from 13 states and Canada. She starts work on November 30.

[Boise city council makes changes to voter-approved library law]

“The Trustees unanimously selected Jessica Dorr,” Board President Margo Healy said in a press release. “She brings deep experience and knowledge of trends in library service models. In our interviews she described how she will empower staff to engage with the community to create a shared vision and mission for Boise Public Library in 2020 and beyond. Dorr is a respected administrator, a strategic thinker, and believes in community partnerships to achieve the Library’s mission in the community.”

From Gates foundation to Boise

Dorr worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for 22 years, where she started as a technology trainer for community center West Seattle Learns. In her current role as the Deputy Director of Global Libraries, she was a leader in the 20 year, $1 billion initiative to boost information access to communities in need. She also oversaw the foundation’s Native American Access to Technology Program, which provided funding and resources to meet the needs of Indigenous communities. She holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington.

- Story continues below -
Idaho's Biggest Toy Drive
Regence

“Boise is a vibrant, dynamic city and I am eager to build relationships with the community,” Door said in a press release. “I look forward to joining the Library and working with the staff of the Library, the City, and the Board of Trustees to help the Library contribute to the city’s goal of creating a place that is equitable, safe, and thriving for everyone,” said Dorr.

[Boise looks at library options after initiative scuttled $100MM+ building]

Dorr will take over the library system after a year and a half of turmoil surrounding former Mayor Dave Bieter’s plan to build a new main library. The project, designed by world-famous architect Moshe Safdie, was expected to cost over $100 million and include an events center and a new office space for the Boise Arts & History Department. Some residents pushed back against the library’s high price tag, design and the city’s plans to move the location of a historic 1940s era log cabin next to the building. 

A ballot initiative passed by an overwhelming margin in November 2019 blocked the city from building a new main library without a vote of approval from the city. Shortly after the vote, former Library Director Kevin Booe announced his retirement. 

Margaret Carmel
Margaret is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at margaret@boisedev.com or by phone at (757)705-8066.

Boise Police chief unveils policy changes, asks for public input

Boise’s new police chief hit the ground running and proposed several policy changes to roll out in the coming months. Chief Ryan Lee, who...

You asked: What’s going on at the Boise Depot?

One of Boise's most prominent landmarks isn't going anywhere. On Tuesday, we got a question from a reader about work happening at the Boise...

Ada County Commissioners set the stage for open space preservation

Ada County could soon set aside more land for conservation. At the end of October, the Ada County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a new...

Deep Dive: State, Trident outline separate plans for future of McCall endowment lands

Next week, the commissioners of the Idaho Land Board will hear two visions for the future of much of the area that surrounds McCall....

Popular

Boise made of Lego? How an Idaho guy dreamed up this skyline model

You might notice them in the stores. Lego sets with landmarks and skylines made out of the popular building bricks. Paris. Dubai. NYC. ...Boise? Not...

You asked: What’s the large Christmas display at Expo Idaho for?

A new Christmas experience will open at Expo Idaho this year - just in time for a socially distanced holiday season. Christmas in Color set...

In-N-Out Burger sets plan for Boise, but it will be a while still

It’s the question we get more than just about any other inquiry: When will the Boise area get an In-N-Out Burger? The California-based chain of...

Over the leftovers? Check out our takeout & delivery guide with more new options!

We had snow this week - and hopefully lots of Thanksgiving goodies. But if you're ready for something different - our Boise and Meridian...

Related

SERVPRO Certified

Latest

Boise made of Lego? How an Idaho guy dreamed up this skyline model

You might notice them in the stores. Lego sets with landmarks and skylines made out of the popular building bricks. Paris. Dubai. NYC. ...Boise? Not...

Get Local: Ideas on where and how to shop local this season

NEWS ANALYSIS Every holiday season, we hear about the importance of shopping local. This year, however, shopping Treasure Valley businesses is vital to the survival...

Over the leftovers? Check out our takeout & delivery guide with more new options!

We had snow this week - and hopefully lots of Thanksgiving goodies. But if you're ready for something different - our Boise and Meridian...

COVID spreads in Boise homeless shelters: one Boise Rescue Mission guest and staffer dead

Eight months after Idaho announced it’s first case of COVID-19, the pandemic is hitting Boise’s homeless community harder than ever.  In the past two weeks,...

Boise-based Norco purchased Utah-based automation & welding company

By Idaho Press staff Norco, a large, privately owned welding, safety, medical, and gas supplier, announced in a press release the acquisition of Arc Services...

‘I have never, ever felt this ill:’ Ahlquist, family contract COVID-19

By Nicole Camarda / Idaho News 6 Crush The Curve co-founder Tommy Ahlquist brought the first public COVID-19 tests to Idaho last spring. Now he...