New library chief Brian Bannon is tech savvy but says he's a librarian first
These aren't the only changes afloat for the libraries. There's also new leadership. Dempsey, a Richard M. Daley appointee who led the system for 18 years, resigned in January. Emanuel subsequently announced his choice of Brian Bannon to fill the position. Bannon comes from San Francisco's public library, where he was most recently Chief Information Officer. That title made many people conclude that the libraries were in for a tech make-over. In a recent interview with Chicago Tribune's Julia Keller, Bannon scoffed at the idea that he's a gadget guy first. He told Keller: "I'm dubbed 'the technology guy' but I'm really the 'librarian guy.'" Which means Chicago's "One Book, One Chicago" probably won't be "One Kindle, One Chicago" anytime soon (WBEZ is a partner for this fall's selection The Book Thief by Markus Zusak). But, there are some new technological advancements aimed at helping patrons. The library installed Libre Office, a software program that can help with resumes, research papers, presentations and homework.
Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon stops by Afternoon Shift with Steve Edwards to discuss his life in libraries, and his plans for Chicago branches.