Di Pilato named new libraries director in Sarasota County

Kalajian retiring later this year

Renee Di Pilato. Photo courtesy Sarasota County

Renee Di Pilato has been named as the new director of the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department, and she is expected to assume the role in July, the county has announced.

Di Pilato has served as the deputy director of the Alexandria Library in Alexandria, Va., since 2014, a news release says. She has nearly 20 years of professional library management experience, the release notes, adding that she also serves as an adjunct professor of library management at the University of Southern California, a position she has held since 2017.

Di Pilato earned a doctorate in managerial leadership in the information professions from Simmons College in Boston, Mass., in 2016; in 2006, she earned a Master of Arts in public administration from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and in 2002, she earned a Master of Arts in science, library and information science from Catholic University in Washington, D.C., the release continues.

In 1999, Di Pilato earned a Bachelor of Arts in history and urban planning from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.

Sarasota County Administrator Jonathan Lewis said in the release that Di Pilato’s experience, education and life-long commitment to literacy made her the ideal choice to lead the department, following the upcoming departure of director Sarabeth Kalajian.

Kalajian will be retiring this fall, county Media Relations Specialist Brianne Grant told The Sarasota News Leader on May 8. The goal was to bring the new director on board for a period of overlap before Kalajian’s departure, Grant added.

“Renee is the perfect fit for Sarasota County, as her collaborative and thoughtful approach to providing world-class service and her desire to serve the community made her stand out,” Lewis said in the release.

“We went through a thoughtful and deliberate hiring process to find the right person,” Kalajian added in the release. “Renee comes with the experience, dedication and enthusiasm for carrying our library system and historical resources forward,” Kalajian noted.

For Di Pilato, being selected is not only an honor, she said, but also an important opportunity to continue the innovation for which Sarasota County libraries are known, the release continues.

“I’m looking forward to furthering all the wonderful accomplishments of library leadership and building on those successes. Its an honor to join Sarasota County Government,” Di Pilato said in the release.