Gia Arbogast has been tapped by the County Commission to serve as director of the 400-employee Miami-Dade Public Library System.
“I am very excited to lead the Miami‑Dade Public Library System into becoming a 21st century library and ensuring that it meets the needs of this diverse community,” she said.
MDPLS has 49 library branches, a budget of $54 million, and more than 8 million visitors per year, according to the county. Nationally, the system is ranked as the seventh largest, according to a 2012 American Library Association study.
Arbogast, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, moved to Miami as a teen and graduated from the University of Miami. She went on to earn a master’s degree in library science from Florida State University in 1986, and joined the county as an entry-level librarian.
She rose the administrative ranks to hold the top job, a position that will allow her “to address the rapidly change trends in library science.”
Raymond Santiago, the library system’s former director, retired in the summer of 2014. Arbogast served as interim director up until filling the permanent slot on July 20. Along with her promotion to permanent director, she received a five percent raise to $155,634 a year.
Arbogast will also manage system-wide community programs that include outreach services and mobile libraries, as well as services like “Talking Books, Connections, Homebound, Jump Start and Project Literacy for Every Adult in Dade.
During the past year, Arbogast started a few projects to open up library spaces for learning experiences other than just reading books, such as MakerSpaces, or technology learning and co-working areas.
“As director, I want to make sure that we continue to expand these learning areas throughout the library system so that we begin to attract new audiences of all ages.”
The library system invites the public to meet Arbogast, along with other city and county officials, at the grand opening of the Northeast Dade‑Aventura Branch Library on Aug. 18.
If you go
What: Aventura Branch Library grand opening ceremony
When: Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m.
Where: 2930 Aventura Blvd.
For information: Call 305-375-2665.