Philadelphia, PA - January 17, 2017 - Today, Howell Rosenberg, Esq., Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Library Company of Philadelphia announced the election of Dr. Michael J. Barsanti as the Edwin Wolf 2nd Director effective February 20, 2017. Dr. Barsanti succeeds Dr. Richard Newman as the company's Chief Executive Officer. This appointment was made following a national search conducted by a leading executive search firm who worked in conjunction with trustees and staff of the Library Company, who have enthusiastically and unanimously endorsed this appointment.
Mr. Rosenberg stated that, "We are thrilled to have Mike join the Library Company's highly acclaimed staff of scholars, curators, and professional administrators. Mike's business and academic work will be among the keys to success that he will bring to us and we are thankful that we were able to attract such a high level professional. "
Dr. Barsanti holds a bachelor's degree from Williams College, a Master's degree from University of Miami, and a PhD in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. He has led a distinguished career in the Philadelphia cultural community that includes positions at the Rosenbach Museum and Library, the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, and the Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Drexel University and serves on the Board of Trustees of the Independence Charter School. His experience has been broad: in fundraising, program development, membership, marketing, and operations. Additionally, he founded Throwaway Horse, a company devoted to fostering a deeper understanding of literary masterworks by joining the visual aid of graphic novels with the aid of the internet and social media. He has worked closely on its flagship project ULYSSES "SEEN," a graphic novel adaptation of James Joyce's ULYSSES that brings the novel's deeper mysteries to a new set of readers. Dr. Barsanti lives in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia with his wife, Erin Mooney, and their three children.
According to Dr. Barsanti, "I am deeply honored to be chosen to be the next Edwin Wolf 2nd Director of the Library Company of Philadelphia. On Ben Franklin's 311th birthday, we can take pride in how his library has endured, and the idea it is based upon --improving a community through the sharing of knowledge -- has never been more relevant. I am eager to carry forward Dr. Franklin's great experiment and bring it to new learners from all walks of life, ensuring its continued relevance and its adaptation to a changing world."
About the Library Company of Philadelphia
Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company is America's oldest cultural institution and served as the Library of Congress from the Revolutionary War to 1800. It was the largest public library in America until the Civil War and remains one of North America's most important research repositories. Today, the Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library and educational institution specializing in American and global history from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. Open to the public free of charge, the Library Company houses the world's largest holdings of early American collections with approximately one million rare books, manuscripts, broadsides, ephemera, prints, photographs, and works of art. The collections reflect the country's many faces and varied interests including African American history, economic history, women's history, the history of medicine, and visual culture. The Library Company promotes access to these collections through fellowships, exhibitions, programs, and online resources.
The mission of the Library Company is to foster scholarship in and increase public understanding of American history before 1900 by preserving, interpreting, making available, and augmenting the valuable materials in our care, thus providing meaningful stewardship of the legacy of founder Benjamin Franklin. To find out more, please visit www.librarycompany.org