Submitted by Whatcom County Library System
The Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) welcomes our new Deputy Director, Michael Cox, who recently relocated to Whatcom County from Pueblo, Colorado.
As the former Director of Public Services for the Pueblo City-County Library District, Mr. Cox lead a team of ten library managers, helped plan 3 new libraries, defined a new customer service model for the system, and opened an “Idea Factory Learning Lab” that showcased new technologies for all ages.
Before his stint as Director of Public Services, Mr. Cox was the Manager of Youth Services and the Library @ the Y in Pueblo, where he instituted year-round programming and increased summer reading participation by 40%. He began his library career as Teen Services Librarian in Pueblo, creating the library’s first Teen Center with multiple community partners and creating nationally recognized teen programing. Mr. Cox received his Masters of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
The hiring process for WCLS Deputy Director included a series of phone and in-person interviews with different panels of library staff members, culminating in a full-day of library tours, a one-on-one meeting with the Executive Director and an evening presentation attended by staff, library trustees, and Friends of the Library officers.
“Here’s the remarkable thing,” said Executive Director Christine Perkins. “Throughout the ordeal, Michael stayed upbeat and positive, and every single piece of feedback we received about him was overwhelmingly positive as well. That’s quite an accomplishment! To say we’re all thrilled that he accepted our offer is not an exaggeration.”
As Deputy Director for the Whatcom County Library System, Mr. Cox is responsible for staffing and services to the public through our ten community libraries and mobile services, enhancing the patron experience in the library, developing and monitoring the public services budget, strategic planning for current and emerging library service needs, and acting as Executive Director in the Executive Director’s absence.
In the coming weeks, Mr. Cox will be visiting each of our ten library locations and doing a ride-along on the Bookmobile. He will meet with staff, Friends, Trustees, our Foundation, and the public. He will be diving in to strategic planning with both feet as WCLS develops a new multi-year plan and will bring a fresh perspective to the work of connecting information, ideas, and community through library services in Whatcom County.