L to R: Tracy Najera, Board Member; Laurie Gemmill Arp, Board President; Alan Hall, Board Member; and Michael Merz, Board Vice-President. Not pictured: Janet Carleton, Board Member.

State Librarian & Board

Interim Executive Director

Photo of Bill Morris

William Morris

William (Bill) Morris was appointed by the State Library Board to be Interim Executive Director beginning April 1, 2020, following the retirement of Beverly Cain. Bill has worked at the State Library for over 25 years. He was promoted to Governmental Affairs Coordinator in 2006 and prior to that served as Executive Assistant to the State Librarian since 1994. Bill is an administrator in the State Librarian’s Office and member of the State Library executive team. He has been responsible for legislative affairs for the State Library at both the State and Federal levels throughout his career and is the National Library Legislative Day Statewide Coordinator. In 2014 he was recognized by the Ohio Library Council (OLC) as Citizen of the Year. The award honors citizens in Ohio who have made a significant contribution that has had a positive influence on library services throughout the State of Ohio.

Prior to working for the State Library, Bill served as a Legislative Aide in the Ohio House of Representatives for eight years, including serving as committee aide to the House Colleges and Universities Subcommittee.

Library Visits

Former State Librarian Beverly Cain visited libraries throughout Ohio and posted summaries and photographs of her visits.

If you would like Interim Executive Director Bill Morris to visit your library, please contact Julia Ward at jward@library.ohio.gov. In order to make the best use of resources, visits may be scheduled in conjunction with nearby libraries.


State Librarian Budget Testimony

  •  Click here to read the State Librarian’s written Budget Support Testimony to Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on Higher Ed for FY2020 – FY2021
  • Click here to read the State Librarian’s written Budget Support Testimony to Ohio Senate Higher Education Committee for FY2020 – FY2021

State Librarian Reports

Each month State Librarian Beverly Cain prepares and posts reports about the State Library.







State Librarians of Ohio Timeline

  • Beverly Cain 2010–2020
  • Joanne Budler 2004–2010
  • Michael S. Lucas 1995–2004
  • Richard M. Cheski 1977–1995
  • Joseph F. Shubert 1966–1977
  • Ruth Hess, Acting State Librarian 1963–1966
  • Walter T. Brahm 1942–1963
  • Paul A. T. Noon 1934–1942
  • John H. Newman 1931–1933
  • George E. McCormick 1928–1931
  • Herbert S. Hirshberg 1921–1927
  • John H. Newman 1918–1921
  • Charles B. Galbreath 1915–1918
  • John H. Newman 1911–1915
  • Charles B. Galbreath 1896–1911
  • Joseph P. Smith 1892–1896
  • John C. Tuthill 1890–1892
  • William B. Sibley 1889–1890
  • John M. Doane 1887–1889
  • Francis B. Loomis 1886–1887
  • Hamilton W. Pierson 1885–1886
  • Howard T. Conard 1883–1885
  • Joseph H. Geiger 1881–1883
  • Henry V. Kerr 1879–1881
  • Rodney M. Stimson 1877–1879
  • Hiram H. Robinson 1875–1877
  • Walter C. Hood 1874–1875
  • Samuel G. Harbaugh 1862–1874
  • William T. Coggeshall 1856–1862
  • James W. Taylor 1854–1856
  • Elijah Hayward 1851–1854
  • John B. Greiner 1845–1851
  • Thomas Kennedy 1842–1845
  • Zachariah Mills 1824–1842
  • David S. Brodrick 1820–1823
  • John McElvain 1818–1820
  • John L. Harper 1817–1818

Board Members

Laurie Gemmill Arp Headshot

Laurie Gemmill Arp

Board President

Columbus, OH
Term Ends: 12/31/2023

Laurie has over 20 years of experience working with cultural heritage institutions. As the Director of Collections Services and Community Supported Software, Laurie Gemmill Arp supervises ArchivesSpace and CollectionSpace, two community supported open source collection management software programs housed at LYRASIS. Laurie provides coordination between the organizational homes and the programs and support for activities such as governance, strategic planning and developing partnerships. Laurie also directs the activities related to digitization and preservation including training and consulting services. Previously, she worked for OCLC in positions including Senior Implementation Program Manager and Digital Projects Specialist. For the Ohio Historical Society, she managed several award-winning digital projects and served as the State Archivist. She received her MLIS from UCLA; her MA in European History from UC Irvine; and her BA in History from UC San Diego.

State Library of Ohio Board Member Michael Merz

Michael Merz

Board Vice President

Dayton, OH
Term Ends: 12/31/2020

Judge Michael Merz currently serves as a United States Federal Magistrate Judge and as President of the Dayton Metro Library Foundation.  He has previously served on the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library Board (1991-2006) serving twice as President of the Board. He also served on the Ohio Library Council Board (1997-99) as a trustee representative. In addition, Judge Merz has enjoyed a distinguished legal career as a graduate of Harvard Law School, including seven years as a Dayton Municipal Court Judge and over 30 years as a United States Magistrate Judge serving the Southern District of Ohio. He has served on many state and national civic boards and committees and is the recipient of numerous awards including most recently being recognized nationally by the American Bar Association with the 2013 Robert B. Yegge Award for Outstanding Contribution to the field of Judicial Administration.

Janet Carleton

Janet Carleton

Athens, OH
Term Ends: 12/31/2024

Janet has been the Digital Initiatives Coordinator for Ohio University Libraries since 2005. She has 24 years of library experience, including more than 20 years at Ohio University Libraries, and extensive knowledge of librarianship in special collections and digitization. She is responsible for digitization, digital preservation, and social media promotion of the Libraries’ unique resources. Her career at Ohio University Libraries began in 1998 at the Mahn Center for Archives & Special Collections as a Scripps Project Reformatting Archivist and continued in 2000 as Digital Projects Librarian. Janet is an active member of state, regional, and national library, preservation, archives, and digitization associations, boards, task forces, commissions, and user’s groups. Her professional leadership includes chair or co-chair of committees for Society of American Archivists, Midwest Archives Conference, Society of Ohio Archivists, and Academic Library Association of Ohio, and chair of the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board.

Alan Hall, State Library of Ohio Board Member

Alan Hall

Board member

Steubenville, OH
Term Ends: 12/31/2022

Alan Hall was appointed by the State Board of Education of Ohio to the State Library Board and sworn in on March 21, 2019.

Alan has over 48 years of experience in Ohio’s public libraries. In his first seven years of library service, he worked his way from Page and then Circulation Assistant at Washington County Public Library in Marietta, to earning a Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) and becoming Director of Delphos Public Library. He retired in March 2019 after spending the next 35 years of his profession as Director of Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County. Alan is familiar with the State Library’s programs and services though his experiences serving on State Library committees and work as Director of a library active in the SEO Consortium. He was honored as the 2019 Hall of Fame Librarian by the Ohio Library Council.

Alan is active in his community having served as a board Member of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Interpreter and board member at Historic Fort Steuben. He currently serves as a member of the Ohio State University Cooperative Extension Service Advisory Board, member and current President of the Steubenville Historic Landmarks Commission of the City of Steubenville, member and immediate Past-President of the Steubenville Rotary Club, and Clerk of Session at the Two Ridges Presbyterian Church.

Alan Hall earned his MSLS from Case Western Reserve, and a Bachelor of Science in Education from West Virginia University.

Tracy Najera, State Library Board Member

Tracy Najera

Board Member

Columbus, OH
Term Ends: 12/31/2021

Dr. Tracy Nájera was appointed by the Ohio Department of Education to the State Library Board and sworn in on March 16, 2017.

She is the Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio. Prior to that, Tracy was a senior consultant for a national education improvement consultancy partnering with states, foundation and other organizations to improve educational outcomes for students – particular those of color and low income. Her nearly 20 year career has focused on improving policies, systems, and structures to support educational opportunity and equity for all children. She has extensive professional and volunteer experience in communications, budget and finance, public policy, and program implementation and evaluation. She has served on boards and committees in central Ohio and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions for her service. A graduate of the Ohio State University, Dr. Nájera earned her MPA from the Glenn College of Public Affairs and her Ph.D. in Education Administration.

A resident of Columbus, she and her husband Israel have two school-aged children and are frequent visitors of their local library.

L to R: Tracy Najera, Board Member; Laurie Gemmill Arp,, Board President; Alan Hall, Board Member; and Michael Merz, Board Vice-President
L to R: Tracy Najera, Board Member; Laurie Gemmill Arp, Board President; Alan Hall, Board Member; and Michael Merz, Board Vice-President. Not pictured: Janet Carleton, Board Member.


The State Library of Ohio was established by Governor Thomas Worthington in 1817. In 1824, legislative recognition was made acknowledging the Library as one of the institutions of the State.

In 1844, a law was passed that placed the State Library under the care of a Board of Commissioners consisting of the Governor, the Secretary of State, and the State Librarian.

In the 1840’s and 50’s there was a standing committee on the library in the legislature.

In 1896, the law was changed to establish a Board of Commissioners of three chosen by the Governor to serve a term of two, three, and six years respectively, and then six-year terms thereafter.

In 1921, the law was changed to increase the Board to five members, with four members appointed by the Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction serving as the Chairman. The Superintendent of Public Instruction at that time was an elected official. The other members of the Board served eight-year terms overlapping at two-year intervals. This was done as part of the Governmental Reorganization Act of 1921 and effectively made the State Library a division within the Department of Education.

In 1955, the General Assembly enacted the present section of the Ohio Revised Code (3375.01) which sets up the State Library Board as an agency separate and distinct from the State Department of Education. According to a 1967 report, “The Ohio State Library: Present Operations and Future Opportunities,” the Chief Administrative Officer of the Department of Education had been a regular appointee to the Board until the 1955 change in law and in fact was the only member that had not served continuously on the Board since 1955.

About the State Library Board

The State Library is governed by a five member board. The Board members are appointed by the State Board of Education and each member serves a five year term of office. Under the Ohio Revised Code, section 3375.01, the State Library Board is responsible for the State Library of Ohio and a statewide program of development and coordination of library services. Specific powers of the State Library Board include:

  • Maintain the State Library, holding custody of books, periodicals, pamphlets, films, recordings, papers, and other material and equipment.
  • Accept, receive, administer, and expend in accordance with the terms thereof, any moneys, materials, or other aid granted, appropriated, or made available to it for library purposes by the United States, or any of its agents, or by any other source, public or private.
  • Administer such funds as the General Assembly make available to it for the improvement of public library services, interlibrary cooperation, or any other library purposes.
  • Approve, disapprove, or modify resolutions for establishment of county district libraries.
  • Approve, disapprove, or modify resolutions to redefine boundaries resulting from school district consolidations.
  • Amend, define, or adjust the boundaries of library districts submitting applications for changes in their boundaries.
  • Encourage and assist the efforts of libraries and local governments to develop mutual and cooperative solutions to library services problems
  • Recommend to the Governor and to the General Assembly such changes in the law as will strengthen and improve services and operations.
  • Adopt such rules as are necessary for the carrying out of any function imposed by law.

The State Library Board usually meets in the State Library of Ohio Board Room or Conference Room D, 274 East First Avenue. Updated information can be obtained by calling (614) 644–7061.

Meeting Agenda

The next meeting of the State Library Board will be a Special Meeting on April 2. 2020.  The State Library building is closed*. Therefore, the meeting will take place via Zoom video conferencing.  Click on the “VIEW TENTATIVE AGENDA” link below to view the  agenda and information about the video conference and public participation.

*On Sunday, March 22th, under the direction of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH issued a director’s Stay At Home order to require all Ohioans to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 beginning at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 23, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on April 6, 2020. 

View Tentative Agenda



Meeting Schedule

The State Library Board business meetings are located at the State Library of Ohio. Upcoming meeting dates and times are:

  • April 2, 2020 (Special Meeting)
  • May 28, 2020
  • July 16, 2020
  • October 15, 2020
  • December 10, 2020
  • January 21, 2021
  • March 18, 2021
  • May 20, 2021