Rachel Rubin will leave her post as director of the Bexley Public Library, 2411 E. Main St., at the end of the month to become director of library and information services at Capital University.
The library will play host to a community farewell reception for Rubin from 4 to 6 p.m. June 28.
Though she is making a change professionally, Rubin said, she looks forward to continuing to work and live in Bexley with her husband, Wittenberg University professor Ryan Gamm, and to maintain her community involvement.
"I love this community so much, which is another reason this job at Capital is such a good fit," Rubin said.
Originally from Cuyahoga Falls, Rubin holds a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in Latin American studies from Carleton College, a master's degree in library and information sciences from Kent State University and a doctorate in managerial leadership in the information professions from Simmons College.
Before becoming the director of Bexley's library in February 2010, Rubin held positions as adult-services librarian and library manager with Worthington Libraries and as a team leader with the Columbus Metropolitan Library. She also worked part time as an adjunct professor at Kent State from 2015 to 2016.
She said her academic background was a factor that led her to accept the position at Capital.
"I've had such good relationships with Capital faculty and students. Over the years, we've hired Capital graduates" at the Bexley library, she said.
"With Beth Paul coming on as president and the new vibrancy at the university, I thought this could be a great opportunity," she said.
When Rubin leaves Bexley's library, its board of trustees will appoint an interim director and conduct a national search to replace her, said Sam Shamansky, board president.
"I was there when we hired her. It was the smartest decision we made in the 16 years that I've been there," Shamansky said.
"She's absolutely transformed the library from stodgy and staid to progressive and perfect. She's visionary, she's friendly and she knows how to manage people," he said.
In looking back on her years as director, Rubin said, the staff she helped to assemble is among her proudest accomplishments.
"They're service-oriented, and you see that in the programs here," she said.
During Rubin's tenure, the library increased circulation and patron visits, launched volunteer and outreach programs, started homebound patron services and modernized library infrastructure.
Rubin said the development that stands out the most is joining the Central Library Consortium, a regional network of branches that expanded the library's materials catalog from 350,000 items to more than 4.5 million items.
"Joining the CLC, making the resources of 13 other libraries available to our community has had the most significant impact," she said.
Once she begins working at Capital, Rubin said, she plans to identify opportunities for strengthening the university's existing library services.
"With anybody coming in, you're looking at what's already been done well and how you can do it better," she said. "I think there's an opportunity to flesh out programs and services for students and faculty and continuing to make the library a true asset to the institution."
Rubin said she plans to stay active in the Bexley community. In recent years, she has served on the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce board and as a member of the committee that organizes the Main Event entertainment series that is held on Capital's lawn each summer.
Ongoing collaborative efforts among Capital, the Bexley Public Library, community organizations, the schools and the city are among Bexley's strengths, Rubin said.
"People live here for multiple generations and there's a sense of history, but also an understanding that we need to move forward," she said. "This really is a community of lifelong learning."
For more information about the June 28 community reception, visit Bexleylibrary.org.