Donna Walker steps up to lead Jefferson County Public Library

Donna Walker, newly appointed executive director for Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL), begins her new job Sept. 1. She is replacing Pam Nissler, who retired at the end of August.

“JCPL is a great organization,” Walker said. “We have incredible employees, widespread Board and community support, and a shared vision to be a best-in-class library. I look forward to working together to make our vision a reality.”

Libraries have always been important to Walker.

“Not just when I was little, but throughout my life, access to the library has meant access to information, knowledge, and power,” she noted. “ I believe in the library’s mission to provide this access to all without barriers. It’s important to me that we continue to be this trusted resource now and for future generations.”

Walker came to JCPL in 2012 as director of public services. During her tenure, she implemented exciting innovations in services, staffing, programs, and outreach. Her experience in public library management and administration is broad and deep — from running rural and jail libraries, to building large suburban branches, to creating urban outposts to envisioning alternative digital and outreach services.

Prior to her time at JCPL, Walker spent 18 years at Arapahoe Library District (ALD) in various capacities, where her notable achievements included managing construction of a 30,000-square-foot library, embedding a library outpost in a new recreation center, and implementing early learning environments enterprise-wide.

In 2011, Walker was named a “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal in an annual award program that spotlights librarians who are doing extraordinary work to move libraries and library services forward. She is a member of the American Library Association, the Public Library Association and Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy; she has completed leadership programs sponsored by the Public Library Association and Mountain States Employers Council; and she has presented at numerous state, national, and international conferences on library outreach and innovations.

Walker received a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill.

She’s excited to get started.

“We’ve achieved so much at JCPL these past several years,” Walker said. “It’s important to me that I spend my first 90 days just listening to people, to make sure our plans continue to reflect the shared goals of our community. After that, there’s no telling how far we can go.”