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Westport Library Board Names William H. Harmer As Executive Director

Previously the director of Chelse District Library in Michigan, William Harmer will be the executive director at the Westport Library starting July 27.
Previously the director of Chelse District Library in Michigan, William Harmer will be the executive director at the Westport Library starting July 27. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTPORT, Conn. -- The Westport Library Board of Trustees has announced the selection of William H. Harmer, an experienced and innovative leader in the library field, as the next executive director of the Westport Library.

Harmer fills the position vacated by Maxine Bleiweis, who is retiring after 17 years of service. Harmer will assume his duties in Westport on July 27.

Harmer comes from the Chelsea District Library in Michigan, where he served for three years as head of adult services before being promoted to director in 2009.

During this time, he brought national recognition to the institution, including its selection as the Best Small Library in America by The Library Journal and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Library Journal also named Harmer to the Class of 2009 Movers & Shakers, a list of emerging leaders from around the world making a difference in the library field.

In 2013, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation chose Harmer as one of 120 world library leaders to attend its global conference on the future of libraries held in Cape Town, South Africa. Harmer has also served on the board of directors of the Michigan Library Association and as president of the Rotary Club of Chelsea.

“Bill Harmer possesses the intellectual, creative and entrepreneurial spirit that is at the heart of the Library. He comes to us with the experience, talent and leadership skills to maintain the Westport Library at the forefront of innovation and to propel the Library into its next phase of development and transformation," said Mike Guthman, president of The Westport Library Board of Trustees.

“I am delighted to be joining the talented team of library professionals at the Westport Library; an organization that exemplifies what a world-class, 21st-century library can be,” said Harmer.

Harmer began his library career in 2001 and has held leadership positions at libraries in Farmington and Birmingham, Mich. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in literature and creative writing from Eastern Michigan University, and a master of library and information science from Wayne State University. He and his wife, Jill, and their three children will be relocating to Connecticut this summer.

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