Fayette County

‘Libraries should be for everyone.’ Meet Lexington Public Library’s new executive director

A familiar face has been tapped to lead Lexington Public Library, one of the largest library systems in the state.

Heather Dieffenbach, who has served as acting director since March, was named executive director by the Lexington Public Library search committee Wednesday, according to a release from the library. Dieffenbach was picked from 29 applicants. She replaces Ann Hammond, who served as executive director for eight years, after Hammond was named director of the Sonoma County Library Commission earlier this year.

Dieffenbach starts immediately.

“Our public library system is a vital piece of our city’s infrastructure and I am incredibly honored to have been selected to be the next executive director,” said Dieffenbach. “Libraries should be a place for everyone to learn, be that through reading, playing, gaming or gathering.”

Dieffenbach started her career at the library in 1998 as a children’s librarian. She then served as a children’s and youth services and regional consultant for the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives. She then returned to the Lexington Public Library as Northside Branch manager and director of operations. In total, Dieffenbach has worked for Lexington library system for 11 years.

Dieffenbach received her master’s of library science from Indiana University.

The Lexington Public Library has an annual budget of $18.1 million, six locations and various outreach and education services. It employs 240 people and served more than 9 million visitors in its brick-and-mortar locations and its virtual services last year.