Senior Executive of IMLS Selected as Next New Jersey State Librarian

May 9, 2012

Mary L. Chute has been selected as the next New Jersey State Librarian.

Mary L. Chute has been selected as the next New Jersey State Librarian.

Mary L. Chute, deputy director for Libraries at the Institute of Museum and Library Services, has been selected as the next New Jersey State Librarian and will begin a new chapter as leader of the New Jersey State Library in July 2012.

Chute, a former state librarian of Delaware, was selected after a national search conducted by Thomas Edison State College and a search committee comprised of members of the New Jersey library community.

"Mary is a dynamic leader with expertise working on local, state and national levels," said Dr. George A. Pruitt, president of Thomas Edison State College. "The search committee recognized that Mary’s extensive background will enable her to shape and communicate a compelling vision for New Jersey’s library community. We are thrilled to have her."

During her 28-year career, Chute has worked in public libraries, state library administrative agencies and, for the past 10 years, with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the primary source of federal funding targeted at building the capacity of the nation’s libraries and museums. At the institute, she has served as a senior leader focused on program analysis and development, strategic planning, financial administration, national policy development and partnerships.

"The thing that energizes me the most is the collaborative role of this position and working with New Jersey’s extraordinary library community and other stake holders to help the state thrive," said Chute. "The New Jersey State Library is well positioned to help shape policy, address regional and national issues and still see the impact our work has on the communities we serve."

Chute said she is honored to succeed Norma Blake, who is retiring as state librarian in July, and continue the excellent job Blake has done leveraging the strengths of New Jersey’s libraries to help the state maximize the latest technologies despite challenging economic conditions.

"Libraries are truly anchors in our communities that provide access to knowledge and lifelong learning through our collections, our services and our relationships with civic and business organizations," said Chute. "Enhancing this incredible infrastructure and building on our collective strengths will enable libraries to improve the health of New Jersey and make the region stronger."

Chute joined the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., in 2002 and served as acting director from July 2005 to March 2006. Prior to joining the institute, Chute served as director and state librarian of the Delaware Division of Libraries, where she promoted the extension and improvement of statewide library services through community outreach, library automation, new technologies and resource sharing. She has also consulted for the Maryland Division of Library Development and Services and served as director of the Lynnfield Library and Franklin Public Library, both in Massachusetts. Chute earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and earned a Master of Arts in Art History from Boston University and a Master of Library Sciences from Simmons College. She lives in Newark, Del., and plans to relocate to New Jersey.

About Thomas Edison State College
Thomas Edison State College provides flexible, high-quality, collegiate learning opportunities for self-directed adults. One of New Jersey’s 12 senior public institutions of higher education, the College offers associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 100 areas of study. Students earn degrees through a wide variety of rigorous and high-quality academic methods that can be customized to meet their individual needs. Identified by Forbes magazine as one of the top 20 colleges and universities in the nation in the use of technology to create learning opportunities for adults, Thomas Edison State College is a national leader in the assessment of adult learning and a pioneer in the use of educational technologies. The College is home to The John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy. The New Jersey State Library is an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College. Further information about admission to the College may be obtained by calling (888) 442-8372, via e-mail at or by visiting the College website.

About New Jersey State Library
The New Jersey State Library, an affiliate of Thomas Edison State College, has three bureaus: the Library Development Bureau (LDB), the NJ State Library Talking Book & Braille Center (TBBC) and the State Library Information Center (SLIC). The State Library connects people with information through its service to libraries, government and people with special needs. The State Library coordinates, promotes and funds the New Jersey Library Network, of which it is a proud member. Last year, attendance in New Jersey’s public libraries was well over 51 million with total circulation of almost 64 million, an increase of almost six million. For more information, visit