Kiley Ingram is the new director of the El Reno Carnegie Library. She began her duties on May 28, coinciding with renovations being made to the historic institution.
Ingram has worked with libraries since 2012, first as a volunteer and then working her way up to various positions. She said being a part of community development was her goal for having a career in management.
“I want to be in whichever role best allows me to make a positive change in my community,” said Ingram.
In 2014, Ingram received a master’s degree in Library Information from the University of Oklahoma. From there she went on to work with the Metropolitan Library System (MLS), a system of 19 libraries serving Oklahoma County. She has worked in several different capacities including as a librarian and as a supervisor.
Her last role was as a manager for the Edmond Library, which has the highest total circulation of physical materials of all MLS locations. She has also worked with rural libraries in Oklahoma County.
Ingram also volunteered in Norman as an adult basic literacy tutor. She originally wanted to be a college professor before deciding that a library career would better benefit those with limited access to education.
“I decided to shift my focus in order to better support people who are underserved. The library is a way to do that.”
She said the most important aspect of a library is that it provides resources for those who wish to better themselves through learning.
“The library is your window to the world,” she said. “Providing access to materials, resources and education is a really important drive of mine.”
Ingram also said she’s particularly excited to work with the El Reno library due to its status as a Carnegie Library built in 1903.
What drew her to the director position is that the library hosts a number of programs and events that involve a good portion of the community. One of these programs is FanFest, El Reno’s version of Comic-Con, which Ingram said is unique among all the libraries she’s worked with.
“A large-scale event like that is really impressive. I wanted to be a part of that and to work with a staff who were passionate enough and creative enough to design something like that. This community really cares about its library.”
Including Ingram, El Reno’s library has a staff of seven. She said she is looking forward to working with the staff on various community projects.
Changes currently being made to the library include bathroom renovations, the reorganization of offices and book collections, new interior paint and new carpet and new lighting and furniture.
The goal is to make the library more usable while continuing to maintain its historic integrity.