The Office of Commonwealth Libraries welcomes Jonelle Prether Darr as Executive Assistant!
Darr served as Executive Director of the Cumberland County Library System since 1992. During that time, she worked to expand and improve library services through computer and Internet technologies, as well as to increase staff and library efficiencies through centralization of behind-the-scenes support services. Most recently, she led a 6-month community-based public dialogue with Cumberland County decision makers, stakeholders and community residents about the county’s needs for library services, how services are funded and future roles for libraries. Those discussions led to the County Commissioners approval of an increase in the county wide library tax increase beginning in 2017.
Jonelle has been active in a variety of statewide and multi-state professional organizations. She has served as President of the Pennsylvania Library Association, President of PALINET (a multi-state library cooperative now known as Lyrasis), chair of the Association of Pennsylvania Public Library Systems and a board member of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.
She is co-founder of the Pennsylvania Library Association’s PA Forward | Pennsylvania Libraries initiative (www.paforward.org), and served on the PA Forward Steering Committee where she chaired its Partnerships and New Resources subcommittee. She also served as secretary of the Pennsylvania Integrated Library System board, a non-profit organization that administers the Commonwealth’s open source library system software platform, SPARK.
“I am delighted to welcome Jonelle Darr to the Office of Commonwealth Libraries,” said PDE Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Libraries, Glenn Miller. “I have known and respected Jonelle for more than 20 years. She brings broad, rock-solid experience to our library lineup as well as an in-state perspective on resources and services that is forward-looking and pragmatically creative. She will add real value to the work already underway here and assist us across the board in delivering the very best library services possible on behalf of the Commonwealth’s citizens.”
Jonelle is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Music and Drexel University with a Master of Science degree. In April 2005, she was honored by her alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania by receiving a Distinguished Alumni Award. In October 2011, she was honored by receiving the Pennsylvania Library Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
Jonelle is married to Tom Darr, Court Administrator of Pennsylvania. They live just outside of Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with their two cats, Molly and Elly.