A five-member board of trustees governs The Seattle Public Library. Chief Librarian Tom Fay oversees the organization.
Chief Librarian Tom Fay
The Seattle Public Library has a new Chief Librarian! On March 2, 2022, at a special meeting of the Library Board of Trustees, the Board selected Tom Fay as the Library’s new Executive Director and Chief Librarian. Read about the decision in this press release.
Since 2015, Fay has overseen the Library’s Public Services and Programs, Collections, Materials Handling, and Information Technology departments at Seattle’s downtown Central Library and all 26 neighborhood branches.
As a native of southern Nevada, Fay’s 38-year career in libraries began as a page for the Las Vegas Clark County Library District. Prior to joining The Seattle Public Library as Director of Programs and Services in 2015, he held roles as the Executive Director of Henderson Libraries in Nevada and the Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of Las Vegas Clark County Library District in Nevada.
Fay graduated with a Fine Arts degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He has been awarded the O’Callaghan Public Sector Person of the Year and selected as Nevada’s Librarian of the Year.
Fay enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.
Library Board of Trustees
A five-member board of trustees governs your Library. All trustees are appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the Seattle City Council. Board members serve five-year terms without pay. The board meets monthly to discuss issues and make decisions related to our services and operations.
Carmen Bendixen, president
Bendixen was appointed to the Library Board by Mayor Jenny Durkan in April 2020. She has been employed at Washington State Ferries for over 5 years, where her responsibilities have included transportation and land use planning, community outreach, and public policy analysis. She has been a member of the Friends of The Seattle Public Library board of trustees since 2011, where she has served as board president, vice president, and secretary. On behalf of the Friends of the Library, Bendixen helped lead advocacy efforts during the 2012 and 2019 Library Levy campaigns. She has also been a Welcome Desk and events volunteer at the Central Library, and is a regular user of the Greenwood and Green Lake branches. Bendixen has a bachelor’s degree from Willamette University, and a master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Jay Reich, vice president
Jay Reich was appointed to the Library Board by Mayor Ed Murray in September 2016 and reappointed by Mayor Jenny Durkan in June 2019. He joined Pacifica Law Group in 2011 after serving two years as deputy chief of staff to former U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke in Washington, D.C. He has practiced law for more than 40 years and his areas of focus have included affordable housing, education, nonprofit work, government finance and public/private partnerships. Reich also served as a White House Fellow in Washington, D.C., in the office of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. He also served in the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office as a deputy prosecuting attorney and assistant chief criminal deputy in charge of the juvenile section. He has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law and has published and spoken extensively on issues in public finance. Reich is a trustee on the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges. He is a past member of the Washington State Achievement Council and the board of trustees of Central Washington University. He has a bachelor's degree from Amherst College and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Ron Chew was appointed to the Library Board by Mayor Ed Murray in September 2016 and reappointed by Mayor Jenny Durkan in May 2021. Chew is principal of Chew Communications, a Seattle-based consulting firm documenting local community history. From 2010 to 2020, he served as executive director of the International Community Health Services Foundation where he raised funds to support a network of community health clinics serving Asian-American/Pacific Islander immigrants and refugees, as well as other underserved populations. Previously, he served as executive director of the Wing Luke Museum where he spearheaded a $23 million capital campaign to build the new museum. Chew also worked for over 13 years as editor of the International Examiner, a newspaper in Seattle's Chinatown-International District. Chew is a lifelong Seattle resident. He graduated from Franklin High School and attended the University of Washington, where he majored in journalism. In 2001, Chew was appointed to the National Council on the Humanities by President Bill Clinton. He has also been a recipient of the Ford Foundation's "Leadership for a Changing World" award and a "Centennial Honor Roll" honoree from the Association of American Museums. Chew served on The Seattle Public Library Foundation board of directors during the successful 1998 "Libraries for All" capital campaign.
Kristi England was appointed to the Library Board by former Mayor Mike McGinn in September 2012 and reappointed by Mayor Ed Murray in June 2017. She is a senior vice president for Allison+Partners. England has 18 years of experience as a public affairs, community relations and strategic communications consultant. She served as the campaign manager for the 1998 "Libraries for All" campaign, which rebuilt and renewed Seattle facilities. England has also been a consultant to the King County Library System and Sno-Isle Regional Library System. In 2005, England helped former Mayor Greg Nickels and the city of Seattle launch Seattle Climate Action Now, an initiative that asks city residents to take small steps toward stopping climate change. She specializes in community outreach, grassroots advocacy, coalition building and strategic communications and is an expert at working with diverse communities. She currently serves on the boards of Water 1st International and the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle. She is a past board member of Seattle Works.
W. Tali Hairston
W. Tali Hairston was appointed to the Library Board by Mayor Jenny Durkan in March 2020. He currently serves as Director of Organizing, Advocacy, and Development for the Seattle Presbytery, and is principal lead of Equitable Development LLC, an education and community research and development firm. Hairston has 17 years in higher education in diversity, equity, and inclusion administration as the Special Assistant to the President and Director of Seattle Pacific University’s community and international learning program. Hairston participates in education research on physics and equity learning as a National Science Foundation awardee; as well as specializes in community education, engagement and outreach, and public policy research. In 2016 Hairston served as co-chair of the City of Seattle’s Black Male Achievement Initiative. Hairston also was lead consultant for community engagement on King County’s Puget Sound Taxpayer Accountability Account, an educational investment fund. Beginning in 2018, Hairston became the lead consultant for the City of Seattle’s Priority Hire Advisory Committee, assisting stakeholders in forming recommendations to the city. He is a native Rainier Valley resident, a graduate of Ingraham High School, and the University of Washington where he earned his bachelor’s degree in history. He also has a master’s degree from Fuller Seminary and is a PhD candidate in Education at Seattle Pacific University.