Pierce County Library promotes deputy to top job

The Pierce County Library System will stick with a familiar face to lead it further into an increasingly digital and mobile information age.

The library board voted Tuesday to promote deputy director Georgia Lomax as the system’s new executive director. She was the lone internal candidate on a list of three finalists that included Nate Hill, deputy director of the Chattanooga (Tennessee) Public Library, and Jeff Scott, county librarian in Tulare County, California.

Lomax, 55, has been deputy director since 2006. The Sumner resident will be paid a salary of $140,000 to run the 18-branch library system and an array of online services.

A statement from the library system on Wednesday said Lomax will focus on technology innovation, workforce development and finding ways to further support the local military population. She also has a personal interest in reaching out more to 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,” Lomax said in the statement. “We choose to move forward.”

The system conducted a national search that drew 19 applicants, then six semi-finalists and finally the three finalists who went through two full days of interviews, according to spokeswoman Linda Farmer.

Lomax is a Des Moines, Washington native with degrees from both Washington State University and the University of Washington. Her resume includes management positions with the King County Library System from 1993 to 2005.

Her promotion will be effective in November. Executive Director Neel Parikh is retiring Nov. 1 after leading the library system for 20 years.

Lomax will be the fourth director in the 68-year history of the Pierce County Library.