Nancy Howe, executive director of the Santa Clara County Library District and county librarian, is set to retire March 27 after 25 years of service.
Howe leaves the library district with numerous service awards and the Library Journal recently ranking it as the No. 7 library system in the country with expenditures of over $30 million.
“I am proud and grateful to have been a part of nearly one-quarter of the library district’s journey alongside our wonderful staff, supporters and volunteers,” Howe said. “Together, we have made great strides in eliminating barriers for every resident and patron of the county of Santa Clara, especially our children and vulnerable populations.”
Howe began her career with the Santa Clara County Library in 1995 as a substitute librarian. Prior to becoming county librarian, she worked at each of the district’s seven community libraries and received seven promotions.
Under her leadership, the library district removed all fees to use the library or open an account, expanded hours at each library and added service seven days per week at every library, initiated passport services at three libraries and oversaw the renewal of a 20-year tax measure ensuring funding through 2033.
During Howe’s tenure as county librarian, the district was named a Library Journal Star Library for the past 12 years. In 2018, she received the Zoia Horn Award for Intellectual Freedom from the California Library Association for her advocacy related to patron privacy.
“Nancy’s departure is a great loss to the residents of Santa Clara County, who have benefited from her visionary leadership,” said Mike Wasserman, county supervisor and president of the Library Joint Powers Authority Board. “We wish Nancy and her family all the best in retirement and thank her profusely for all she’s done.”