Breaking News

New Orleans Public Library names interim CEO | Local Politics

New Orleans Public Library names interim CEO | Local Politics

Longtime New Orleans Public Library administrator Emily Painton has temporarily replaced Gabriel Morley as the library’s chief executive after Morley’s abrupt November resignation. 

The library’s board unanimously backed Painton as interim city librarian at a meeting last month after Morley left his post. Members said they planned to discuss later how best to fill the permanent job. 

New Orleans Public Library Director Gabriel Morley abruptly resigned Wednesday, ending a two-year tenure in the job after WWL-TV raised questi…

Morley, a former Atlanta library official, had been the local library’s CEO since 2020. But he resigned hours after WWL-TV reported that he holds a homestead exemption in Hattiesburg, Miss., which appeared to conflict with a city rule that requires him to reside in New Orleans. 

Painton, 50, had been the library’s director of public services since June 2020. Before that, she spent four years as a library manager; she has also been a branch manager and assistant branch manager at the Austin Public Library. 

“I am grateful for the opportunity to lead this team as we work towards better fulfilling our mission to transform lives, enrich neighborhoods, and preserve history,” Painton said in a statement. 

Graphic-novel lovers are invited to come together for the New Orleans Public Library’s Manga Book Club at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 11.

Twice daily we’ll send you the day’s biggest headlines. Sign up today.

Painton assumes the mantle of an institution that will soon ask voters to renew a city millage that funds the bulk of its operations.

The millage, which voters will consider Dec. 11, would provide about $11 million a year over the next 20 years, according to library officials; taxpayers would pay no more than they pay now. 

The library plans to use the money to implement a 10-year strategic plan it unveiled this fall. It also wants to develop a new center to house equity and inclusion initiatives, continue its work to improve adult literacy, and invest in early literacy programming, among other goals stated on its website. 

If voters shoot down the millage, the library would be forced to cut its book budget in half, and reduce its operating hours, officials have said. 

Our Views: In New Orleans, vote "yes" to support libraries

Last year, New Orleans voters soundly rejected a complicated property tax swap that would have cut deeply into the New Orleans Public Library …

Painton has a master’s in library and information science from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s in art history from Tulane University, and a bachelor’s of fine arts from the University of Oklahoma. 

Purchases made via links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission