Georgia Lomax is the new Pierce County Library System executive director. She serves on the University of Washington Information School Advisory Board for the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. Lomax graduated with her MLIS in 1984 and received the school's Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006.
Lomax has served as the library’s deputy director since 2006. Lomax, 55, starts on Nov. 10, 2014. Neel Parikh, the library’s current executive director, retires Nov. 1, after 20 years at the helm.
Prior to joining Pierce County, Lomax worked for the King County Library System from 1993 to 2005 serving in a number of positions including cluster manager and managing librarian. Before that, she served as director of the Flathead County Library System in Montana from 1987 to 1992, and as the director of the Miles City Public Library and the Sagebrush Federation of Libraries from 1985 to 1987. In addition to her MLIS degree from the iSchool, she earned her bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism from Washington State University.
Lomax sits on the executive board of Tacoma Community House and serves on the University of Washington iSchool Advisory Board. Nationally, she sits on the Public Library Association (PLA) Board of Directors and served as this year’s national conference program committee chair. She was named a “Mover and Shaker” by the “Library Journal” in 2010 and also won the Allie Beth Martin Award from PLA in 2006.
A Des Moines, Wash., native, Lomax is a 1977 graduate of Mt. Rainier High School in the Highline School District. Now a Sumner resident, Lomax is an avid sailor. She races regularly in Seattle aboard the 46-foot sailboat New Haven. In July, she and her New Haven teammates took third overall in the 2014 Vic-Maui race.
Lomax is the fourth director in Pierce County Library’s 68-year history. With faster Internet connections, more mobile devices and the rise of entertainment giants such as Amazon and Netflix, public libraries find themselves at a crossroads. Lomax’s goals for keeping Pierce County Library relevant include focusing on tech innovation, workforce development and finding ways to further support the military population. She also has a personal interest in further connecting the library with the Native American community.
“As libraries exit the recession, they can look back and try to rebuild what was, or they can look forward and ask what they must now become,” said Lomax. “We choose to move forward. We will determine our future using guidance from the community and the resources and creativity of our staff. I know for sure that includes providing much-needed services, great books for readers, and the library playing a major role in the community.”
About Pierce County Library System
Established in 1946, Pierce County Library System includes unincorporated Pierce County and 15 annexed cities and towns. Pierce County Library serves more than 564,000 people through 18 branches as well as online services. The system is the fourth largest in the state and lends more than 7.5 million items each year. The library is an independent taxing district reporting to a Board of Trustees. Local taxpayers fund 96 percent of the library’s revenues through property taxes. In 2013, Pierce County Library earned the coveted National Medal for Museum and Library Service award.