SJSU School of Information International Advisory Council Member Jill Bourne Named Woman of Influence


No one who knows Jill Bourne, library director for San José Public Library, was surprised to find out she had been named one of 100 Women of Influence for 2015 by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Previously recognized by Library Journal as a 2009 Mover and Shaker, Bourne was also named a Top Innovator by the Urban Libraries Council in 2010. Bourne currently serves on the International Advisory Council for the San José State University (SJSU) School of Information, and is a strong believer in the power of libraries to help communities “preserve history, thrive through building knowledge, and share cultural narrative.”

Bourne has been working in libraries for 20 years, performing such essential roles as children’s librarian, selection librarian, and assistant director of public services for the Seattle Public Library before moving to California and serving as the deputy city librarian for the San Francisco Public Library. In July 2013 Bourne became library director for the San José Public Library (SJPL), an institution whose mission is to “[enrich] lives by fostering lifelong learning and by ensuring that every member of the community has access to a vast array of ideas and information.”

The SJPL is widely known for both its innovation and its leadership, which makes it a great fit for an energetic and creative thinker such as Bourne. As she explained in her Silicon Valley Business Journal profile, “[The SJPL] was named the 2004 Thomson Gale/Library Journal Library of the Year and recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for a library.” 

Bourne oversees the Martin Luther King Jr. Library in partnership with SJSU, as well as 22 branch libraries in Silicon Valley. She manages a team of library administrators who focus on “enhancing the relevance and leveraging the value of public libraries in the communities they serve,” she said.

Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 2015 Women of Influence were chosen from organizations as diverse as PayPal, Lockheed Martin, Women’s Startup Lab, San José City College, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, SurveyMonkeyInc., and more. The 100 women who were chosen for 2015 were deemed by the magazine to have made “the biggest impact across all professions.”