Paula Brehm-Heeger, opens a new window is the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library. With a focus on expanding access, fostering community and civic engagement and driving innovation, Paula is a strong and passionate advocate for public libraries and their role in helping communities thrive. She oversees our community’s 42 location system that includes 40 branches, a Downtown Main Library, and a Distribution Center, serving more than 800,000 people. She is responsible for the oversight of our ambitious Facility Master Plan, opens a new window made possible by voter support of a successful 1 mil levy approved in May 2018.
A resident of Cincinnati’s Clifton neighborhood, she also currently serves a number of leadership roles in the community and state, such as
- Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Alumni Network, member
- Hamilton County Commission on Women and Girls, member
- Ohio Library Council Board of Directors, board member
- United Way’s Women Investing in the Next Generation of Leadership group, member
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 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.
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. She is an alumni of both the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s Leadership Action program (2018) and the Chamber’s Leadership Cincinnati program (2020) .
Paula has contributed writings to Public Libraries, VOYA, School Library Journal and Young Adult Library Services. She 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.