January 20, 2022

Washington: King County Library System Director Resigns to Take Director Position at Calgary Public Library

UPDATE: The Calgary Public Library has also issued a news release about the hiring of Bill Ptacek. You can access it here (via CULC).

Bill Ptacek, Director of the King County Library System (KCLS)h as resigned his position and head northeast across the border to Canada and become the new library director at the Calgary Public Library beginning on February 1, 2014.

Ptacek has served as the director of KCLS since 1989.

From KCLS:

In 1990, KCLS operated 36 community libraries with an annual circulation above nine million items. Under Ptacek’s leadership, KCLS experienced unprecedented growth as King County’s population and economy expanded and local municipalities voted to join the Library System. Voter-approved capital improvement bond measures (passed in 1988 and 2004) funded new, replacement, and expanded libraries, adding nearly 515,000 square feet of library space, while annual circulation grew to more than 22 million items. Voters also passed a one-year levy increase during the 2009 economic crisis, demonstrating the community’s support of KCLS.

KCLS typically shares one of the top three spots for highest circulating public library in the United States and leads the US, Canada and Australia in eBook circulation. KCLS was named Busiest Library in 2010 and Library Journal’s 2011 Library of the Year.


KCLS Board Chair Lucy Krakowiak announced Ptacek’s departure with mixed emotions. “For Bill, this is a great opportunity to take on exciting new challenges…and it’s not easy to top the challenges Bill has tackled with KCLS. We are sorry to see him go.”


Julie Brand, Director of Community Relations & Marketing has been appointed to serve as Interim Director until a new director is hired.

Lucy Krakowiak is 100% correct about exciting challenges awaiting Ptacek in Calgary.

Allow us to name one of of those exciting challenges, a new $245 million central library is about to be built in Calgary.

We’ve mentioned plans for the new Calgary library many times during 2013.

On November 3rd,  we posted about the two firms selected to design the new library facility.

In February, we shared several of items about plans for the new library including the full text of the master plan.

Also, CPL’s current Central Library experienced a devastating flood in June. Repairs are ongoing.

Here are two other items about the Calgary Public Library from 2013.

1. Chinese State-Owned CNOOC Makes Largest-ever Donation to Calgary Public Library (September 14, 2013)

2. Get to Know Calgary Public Library’s Free Early Literacy App “Grow a Reader”, Free for iPad and iPhone (March 27, 2013) 

We wish Bill Ptacek the very best as he heads from one wonderful metro area and library to another.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.