Paula Brehm-Heeger is the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library. With a focus on expanding access, community and civic engagement and innovation, Paula is a strong and passionate advocate for public libraries. She oversees our community’s 41 location system that includes 40 branches and a Downtown Main Library serving more than 800,000 people. She is responsible for the oversight of our ambitious facilities improvement plan made possible by voter support of a successful 1 mil levy approved in May 2018.
Prior to her current appointment, Paula worked in a number of leadership positions with our Library, most recently serving as the Chief Strategy and Technology Officer and the Chief Library Experience Officer. She currently serves as a member of the Ohio Library Council’s Board of Directors, was the President of the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association, and has served as a member of the American Library Association governing Council. Paula is a member of United Way’s Women Investing in the Next Generation of Leadership group, the Downtown Cincinnati Inc.'s Safe, Clean and Beautiful Committee, Association for Public Administrators and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Alumni Network.
Paula received her B.A. from the University of Cincinnati, her M.L.S from Indiana University and her M.P.A. from Northern Kentucky University where she was named the Distinguished MPA graduate for the 2016 program at NKU and the Outstanding M.P.A. student by the Association for Public Administrators - Greater Cincinnati Area Chapter. In 2014 Paula received the Urban Library Council’s Joey Rodger Leadership Award and graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Emerging Leaders Executive Education program. In 2018 she graduated from the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Leadership Action program. Paula has contributed writings to PLA’s Public Libraries, VOYA, School Library Journal and YALSA’S Young Adult Library Services Journal, is the author of Serving Urban Teens (Libraries Unlimited, 2008) and co-authored "Remaking One of the Nation’s Busiest Main Libraries" which was named the Feature Article of the Year by Public Libraries in 2010. She has worked in public libraries for more than twenty-five years and prior to returning to her hometown of Cincinnati worked for the Indianapolis Public Library, Anderson (IN) Public Library and the Kansas City (MO) Public Library.