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Sheila Burnett - Participant

Sheila Burnett is Deputy Director of Support Services at the San Diego Public Library. In this capacity, she oversees Information Technology, Capital Improvement Projects, Major Grants, an award-winning Adult Literacy Program (READ San Diego), Technical and Access Services for 35 branches and the Central Library.

She has been an employee of the Library for 25 years, beginning her career as a Library Assistant, then progressing through the ranks as a Youth Services Librarian, Branch Manager and Area Supervisor for 12 libraries. Sheila is responsible for the institution’s ongoing digital transformation and its visionary work in making its collections and services as accessible and equitable as possible.

The San Diego Public Library is in the midst of reviving its 21st Century Library Building Plan. She manages a robust portfolio of Library design and construction projects with a capital budget of over $300 million. Sheila is tasked with developing and implementing strategic operational efficiencies and collaborating with key stakeholders and elected officials to manage the integration of staff, collections and services.

With an eye on customer-driven service and trendsetting, she has led a nationally acclaimed financial literacy program sponsored by FINRA and ALA; partnered with a local radio station to produce the first One Book One San Diego PSA that won an Emmy for outstanding broadcasting, and opened three Veteran Resource Centers at libraries sponsored by the California State Library and the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Sheila received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, San Diego, Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of Arizona. She is a graduate of Harvard’s University School of Education Digital Leadership Program.

Previously, Sheila served on the Advisory Board for the Department of Justice Juvenile Delinquency Committee and she is a member of the Jacobs Center for Innovative Change, ALA, CLA and PLA.



San Diego Public Library


Deputy Director of Support Services