Elaine Johnson, President of the Dayton Metro Library Board of Trustees, announced last evening at a regularly-scheduled Board meeting that DML Executive Director Tim Kambitsch will retire on February 28, 2021, following a long and distinguished career. The announcement was delayed from March of this year to ensure the Library’s stability during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson praised Kambitsch for guiding Dayton Metro Library through monumental change and growth. “Tim has created a positive culture, provides thoughtful and strategic leadership, and is a trusted community collaborator,” Johnson said. Kambitsch has served as Executive Director of Dayton Metro Library since January 2001.
Kambitsch worked for years to lay the groundwork to launch a major facilities plan, Libraries for a Smarter Future, to build a new Main Library and 16 state-of-the art Branches. He led a coalition of community partners to secure $187 million for much needed replacement and improvements to the library’s aging infrastructure. The project is in the final stages with the last four buildings anticipated to open between late 2021 and early 2023.
In the 1980s Kambitsch implemented and managed DML’s first automated system. Following a short stint in the private sector at Data Research Associates supporting libraries through technology change, Kambitsch managed an automation and network project and introduced the Internet to library staff and the university community at Butler University Libraries. He returned to Dayton Metro Library as Information Technology Director in 1995, serving in that capacity until becoming Executive Director.
Kambitsch’s leading vision to embrace technology as an innovative Library service has impacted how Library patrons live, work, interact, and create and consume content. He has served as an advocate for advancing digital literacy with Library peers. More recently, Kambitsch has surfaced as a leader in nurturing collaborations and partnerships to address critical issues in the community, including poverty, access, literacy, equity and workforce.
A third generation Daytonian, Kambitsch has deep roots and a lifetime of experiences in Dayton. His employment at Dayton Metro Library began in 1972 as a page at the Main Library while he was a junior at Chaminade High School. He attended Sinclair Community College prior to receiving his undergraduate degree from Wright State University. He received a Masters in Library and Information Science at Kent State University and completed additional graduate coursework in Public Administration from the University of Dayton.
Kambitsch devotes energy to numerous community organizations including the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Dayton program, the Dayton Society of Natural History, Montgomery County Law Library, and Learn to Earn Dayton. Kamitsch and his wife Julie Beall are residents and active with The Oregon Historic District.
Dayton Metro Library has attracted and retained noteworthy leadership in its history. Kambitsch is only the fifth Director since nationally-recognized suffragist and library innovator Electra Collins Doren’s tenure, which ended in 1927.
The Trustees plan to enter into contract with a national search firm to secure Kambitsch’s replacement, led by a committee of the Board. Johnson added, “Tim’s shoes will be hard to fill, but I want the community, staff and patrons to know that we will take the time to find the right person with the vision to maximize Dayton Metro Library’s impact in our community.”