Newark Public Library Announces Appointment of Library Director, Joslyn Bowling Dixon - Newark Public Library

Newark Public Library Announces Appointment of Library Director, Joslyn Bowling Dixon



Distinguished Librarian Brings Decades of Innovation and Success in Urban Communities to Newark


NEWARK, NJ, July 9, 2020 – The Newark Public Library announced the appointment of Joslyn Bowling Dixon as Director of the Library, effective August 3, 2020. A distinguished librarian, Ms. Bowling Dixon brings a wealth and depth of experience working in large urban public libraries spanning more than 20 years. She is currently the Deputy Director of the Prince William Public Library System in Virginia, where she directs 11 branches and a $17 million+ annual budget. Community service and professional leadership have been hallmarks of her career. She currently serves as the Chair of Virginia Library Association’s (VLA) Librarians of Color Forum and as VLA’s Vice President.

Over the course of her career, Ms. Bowling Dixon has assumed many different roles in both supervisory and administrative capacities, including branch management and leading programs for children and young adults. She views the role and operations of libraries through a diverse lens, having worked in library systems in Illinois, Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. She is a strong advocate and driver for staff professional development, technology, innovation, equitable access, and community partnerships, particularly in urban settings. She is recognized as a collaborative, results-driven leader with a life-long passion for libraries.

“Joslyn steps into the Director role at a time when Newark is a leader in social transformation. The heart and soul of our City has sustained us through the COVID-19 and racial injustice pandemics.  In unprecedented times, both Newark and Newark Public Library have shown what progress looks like,” said Lauren Wells, President, Newark Public Library Board of Trustees. “The Board of Trustees is excited to welcome Joslyn because we see in her someone who understands the needs of diverse communities, young people, and families.  We are certain her leadership will enhance library partnerships, broaden access to funding, and drive breakthrough programming. I believe Joslyn’s experience, spirit of collaboration, and enthusiasm to become a part of our library and city make her the leader we need for these times, and beyond.”

“After seeing how Newark Public Library has stepped up to the challenge of COVID-19, I am truly honored to lead it into further unchartered territories. I’ve seen the spectacular results it has achieved in terms of online programming, helping students and families access learning, and meeting a myriad of community needs, including mental health and facing racial injustice,” said Ms. Bowling Dixon. “I am ready and able to steer it through the next phase of challenges, as we move between real and virtual worlds, and further strengthen its support and contributions to the Newark community.”

Ms. Bowling Dixon will oversee the Main Library, located at 5 Washington Street in Newark, and its seven community branches. A dynamic leader, she will be charged with advancing its significant initiatives, including creating partnerships within the greater Newark cultural and educational community; building a diverse, high performing staff; fostering dialogue and learning on the social injustice issues facing the nation today; debuting the Philip Roth Personal Library; and supporting the Library’s fundraising efforts. She will also work closely with the City of Newark to advance its literacy and neighborhood development programming.

Ms. Bowling Dixon is a graduate of Hampton University (BA, English) and Dominican University (MLIS). She is a Councilor-At-Large of the American Library Association, and an active member of the Public Library Association and the Urban Libraries Council. She and her family look forward to becoming Newarkers and exploring all that the City has to offer.

Joslyn Bowling Dixon – Director, Newark Public Library

About Newark Public Library

Since 1889, The Newark Public Library has been an anchor institution in Newark. It is New Jersey’s most comprehensive public library, serving nearly 10,000 patrons per week and providing equal access for all to vast educational, cultural, literary, historical and digital resources. Through its Main Library and seven branches, The Newark Public Library provides residents of Newark with reference help for job searches and accessing social services, ESL and computer classes, and family literacy programs. To learn how to become involved with The Newark Public Library, please visit the website


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Media Contact: Terese Kelly Greer

Rosica Communications

Tel: (973) 722-2482