Bernard A. Margolis, State Librarian

Updates from the State Librarian (2009-2013)


Bernard A. Margolis served as New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries from January 2009 until his death in April 2018.

Mr. Margolis came to the State Library from his previous post as President of the Boston Public Library (BPL), Boston, Massachusetts, where he served from 1997 to 2008. Mr. Margolis' achievements as Boston Public Library president include expansion of branch library hours; appointment of a children's librarian in every branch; creation of a nationally recognized Homework Assistance Program and online tutoring program; implementation of Reading Readiness to prepare preschoolers for school success; creation of local history centers in branch libraries; creation of the award-winning Norman B. Leventhal Map Center and the development of a collection conservation program. Under Mr. Margolis' leadership, Boston Public Library secured millions in federal funds for technology improvements and many foundation grants, designated gift funds, and major bequests.  He led the effort to restore and renovate the historic central library building and established a critical repair fund, allowing the Library to address building and equipment repairs in a timely manner.

Mr. Margolis held a BA in Political Science and an MA in Librarianship, both from the University of Denver. His library experience included management and executive positions in libraries and library systems in Colorado, Michigan and Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Boston, he served as Director/CEO of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs from 1988 to 1997.

Mr. Margolis' service included a number of positions within the American Library Association leadership in the Association of Research Libraries as well as serving as an elected member of the governing Council, as a professional delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries, and on the boards of library organizations in Massachusetts, Colorado, and Michigan. He served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Library Administration and Bottom Line: The Magazine of Library Financial Management. He also contributed to several books and published articles in American Libraries, Public Libraries, and Library Journal.

Last Updated: May 22, 2018