Appointment of State Librarian/Director of State Library Services

It is with great pleasure that I share this recent announcement about the appointment of our MN state librarian.

MDELogoOn December 23, 2013, Kevin McHenry, MDE Assistant Commissioner wrote….

After a four month process of reviewing the needs of State Library Services, I’m pleased to announce that Jennifer R. Nelson has accepted the position of State Librarian / Director of State Library Services on a permanent basis.  Jen has demonstrated commendable leadership since taking on the role of interim director, and quickly rose to the top of the candidate list when the position was posted. As interim director she has articulated and led an outcome-driven alignment of the division’s activities with Minnesota Department of Education priorities and initiated a number of new processes for redefining State Library Services’ vision, goals and strategic activities to assure transparency and accountability. She brings an expertise in administration, project management and a deep knowledge of libraries to her new role.

With more than 25 years working in libraries, Jen is committed to ensuring that Minnesota libraries are well supported by State Library Services and the Minnesota Department of Education.  From her early days as an assistant in a university archives to her role in moving forward technology programming for teens at the Minneapolis Public Library and throughout the United States, she has developed an innovative approach to helping libraries serve their communities that resonates with changing environments. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies and a Masters in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jen is the author of Technology and Literacy: 21st century library programming for children and teens (ALA Editions, 2012) and is an adjunct faculty at St. Catherine’s University teaching a class in grant and proposal writing for public libraries. Jen can be reached directly at 651-582-8791 or

Jen brings a unique blend of talent to the position of State Librarian that has shined brightly during her time at MDE.  She not only has great knowledge regarding the intricacies of Libraries throughout Minnesota and challenges they are facing, but she has the ability to communicate clearly, quickly and fairly with our partners and constituents.   I am excited about the direction of State Library Services under Jen’s leadership.  Please join me in congratulating Jen.

Kevin McHenry,Assistant Commissioner

Minnesota Department of Education

O: 651.582.8250   M: 612.306.0895