Andrea Telli

With nearly thirty years of experience leading library and branch operations with Chicago Public Library, Andrea Telli is recognized champion of urban libraries. As Commissioner of CPL, she oversees one of the largest big-city library systems in the world, with an annual budget of $130 million, 81 branches, three regional hubs and a 750,000 square foot central library.

Andrea is a seasoned leader in setting and delivering on system-wide priorities for Chicago Public Library. In 2012, she was named Assistant Commissioner of Neighborhood Services where she established and led strategy for library operations for CPL’s 81 branches and regional libraries. In this role, she also represented CPL as a mentor librarian through the International Network of Emerging Library Leaders (INELI), funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2018, she became Deputy Commissioner of Public Services, adding oversight of CPL’s flagship central library, Harold Washington Library Center (HWLC) to her portfolio. In these roles, she also led one of the most significant periods of capital improvement in CPL’s history, with the opening of 12 brand new library branches, and major renovations in 18 branches.

Andrea’s commitment to operational excellence and cultural responsiveness reflects CPL’s vision of a city where people are equipped, engaged, and inspired to learn and explore, and who rely on Chicago Public Library as a trusted source of information, enrichment, and opportunity. She prioritizes programmatic and organizational initiatives that reflect the diversity of Chicago, and she shares pride and purpose with the CPL staff to serve the needs of Chicagoans and help make its communities safer, stronger, and more successful.

Prior to her system-wide roles at CPL, Telli was the Central District Chief for CPL, the Manager of the Humboldt Park Branch, among other roles. She received her bachelor of arts in Spanish from Drake University, a masters in Spanish Literature from Georgetown University, and a masters in library science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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