New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Veronica Gonzales announced the hiring of new State Librarian Eli Guinnee, who comes to New Mexico from Jamestown, New York. Guinnee was previously the Executive Director of Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library System in Jamestown, overseeing 38 public and tribal libraries in western New York. Mr. Guinnee will assume his new post as State Librarian on Monday, September 10, 2018.
Guinnee’s work focused on helping libraries with strategic planning, sustainability, community engagement, and securing stable funding. During his tenure he brought high speed broadband internet access to libraries in isolated rural communities with the help of federal funding and school partnerships.
“We feel extremely lucky to have found someone with Eli Guinnee’s experience and expansive knowledge to lead our State Library,” said Gonzales. “He has a native’s love of New Mexico, an understanding of the challenges we face with such a large geographic area to serve, and experience in expanding high speed internet to rural communities, an area we must aggressively expand.”
Guinnee has more than 20 years’ experience in libraries, including at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Buffalo Science Museum Research Library, and Patterson Library in Westfield, New York. Born in Truth or Consequences, Guinnee says he is happy to move closer to family in New Mexico.
“I am thrilled to move back to such a beautiful, culturally-rich part of the country,” Guinnee said. “And to be part of the amazing work New Mexico’s libraries do day in and day out to strengthen their communities.” As New Mexico State Librarian, Guinnee will work to remove barriers to access, improve financial and environmental sustainability, and support childhood literacy.
“Libraries are democratic, inclusive places that preserve history, improve quality of life, and build a brighter future. I feel very lucky for this opportunity to work for our wonderful New Mexico libraries,” Guinnee continued. “Our focus has been on meeting the technology and literacy needs of communities and of children after school, on the weekends and during the summers, so that every child has the opportunities and resources they need to succeed.”