Baltimore County Public Library Directors Past and Present Banner


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Paula Miller, director, 2014 - present

Paula Miller began her tenure as director for Baltimore County Public Library in August 2014. Ms. Miller is the fourth director of BCPL, and the first female director in its celebrated 68-year history.


Prior to working for the Baltimore County Public Library, Miller was director of Colorado's Pikes Peak Library District since 2006, where she oversaw the development and opening of Library 21c, an award-winning state-of-the-art library in Colorado Springs. She has also served as director of the Westlake Porter Public Library in Ohio, where she guided them to a #1 ranking in the nation for its population size in Hennen's American Public Library Rankings (2005); administrator of the Eastern Shore Regional Library in Maryland and director of the Dover Public Library in Delaware.


Enamored by libraries since her first shelving job at 16, Miller believes they are critical community resources that are increasingly important in peoples' lives. At BCPL, she is focused on identifying new and emerging library needs while finding innovative solutions that keep community libraries relevant and effective. In her two years at BCPL, Miller has focused on building community relationships, organizational partnerships, and engaging staff teams that can help BCPL excel in providing 21st century library services. The last year's renovation and expansion of BCPL's Hereford Branch, with its signature arts/maker center of excellence (The Hive), and the launch of BC Reads, a countywide reading initiative addressing important issues facing our community, are two recent successes from those strong teams and partnerships.


Miller earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology from Kent State University, and a Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Maryland. She and her husband Jay, an artist and art instructor, live in Towson. They have three sons and two grandchildren.


James Fish, director, 1996 - 2014

James Fish actively promoted the improvement of library services in the state. Mr. Fish received the Maryland Library Association's Outstanding Member Award in 2013 for effectively providing sustained service to the Maryland Library Association and significantly enhancing its mission and goals.


Under Mr. Fish's tenure, BCPL significantly expanded public hours; opened new branch facilities at Perry Hall, Arbutus, Sollers Point and Owings Mills, along with expansions or renovations at Cockeysville, Hereford, Pikesville and Woodlawn; reopened the Loch Raven and Lansdowne Branches after their closures in the early 1990s; created the imaginative Storyville learning villages at Rosedale and Woodlawn Branches for children ages birth through 5; introduced e-books; and became a national leader in RFID and self-check technology.


Charles W. Robinson, director, 1963 - 1996

Charles Robinson was known for his innovative, progressive and inspired leadership that moved Baltimore County Public Library to the forefront of public library service in the nation. Mr. Robinson was an investor in emerging library-related technologies for use at BCPL.


Mr. Robinson served as the president of the Public Library Association in 1985 and twice served on the Council of the American Library Association. He received the Maryland Library Association's Outstanding Member Award in 1977 for innovative, consistent efforts toward progress and development in library service. In 1991, Mr. Robinson received a Public Library Association Presidential Citation in recognition of extraordinary service and commitment to the advancement of the Public Library Association, as well as the development for several publications vital to good management of public libraries.


Richard D. Minnich, director, 1949 - 1963

Richard Minnich began as the first county librarian of the Baltimore County Public Library on January 1, 1949 and served as director until his death in August 1963.


During Minnich's tenure, he oversaw Baltimore County Public Library's growth from individually operated libraries to a unified library system with centralized functions and initiated expanding branch coverage throughout the county. In 1950, he started the centralized processing of books for all county libraries and the listing of all book resources in a central catalog. By 1951, this progressed far enough to warrant the establishment of a system of interlibrary loan between the libraries. Mr. Minnich's first step in expansion of the system was the purchase of a bookmobile in 1952. His dedication led to the significant growth and expansion of the library system.



Revised: September 29, 2016