St. Paul Library Director Kit Hadley to retire in October

Kit Hadley, who’s been St. Paul Public Library director since 2009, will retire in October.

Before coming to St. Paul, Hadley had been head of the Minneapolis Library system as it  merged with the Hennepin County system. The Hennepin director stayed on after the merger. 

And she had two jobs in St. Paul for a while, when was tapped by Mayor Chris Coleman last year to fill in as temporary Planning and Economic Development director.

Coleman said of her tenure in St. Paul: 

“Under Kit Hadley’s leadership, the library has made it its mission to connect the people of St. Paul with the imperative and the joy of learning through a lifetime. Her tenure as director is marked by program innovations, infrastructure improvements, and a vision that the library is the cornerstone of Saint Paul’s community learning network.”

Hadley, a lawyer, had previously been commissioner of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency under two governors. Before that, she was an attorney with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services and then with the Legal Services Advocacy Project. 

The city cataloged some of her accomplishments in St. Paul:

Hadley directed a series of renovations to transform Saint Paul’s libraries into 21st century centers of learning, making, and discovery. In addition to projects at Highland Park, Merriam Park, Rice Street, Rondo, Saint Anthony Park, Sun Ray, and George Latimer Central Libraries, Hadley helped develop a new model of partnership between the Library and Parks and Recreation at Arlington Hills Community Center.

In partnership with the Saint Paul Community Literacy Consortium, Hadley led the development of the North Star Digital Literacy Project, a program of online assessments of basic digital skills, now used by over 250 organizations throughout the country. She advanced the growth of Sprockets, the city’s extensive network of out-of-school-time programs. One of those programs, the Library’s Createch Studio, is a national model of teen experiential learning. Hadley expanded the Library’s community-based programs and youth services and hired cultural liaisons to deliver programs in eight languages.

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