Regina Greer Cooper
After 15 years as the executive director of the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Regina Greer Cooper is set to retire. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

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Regina Greer Cooper, the longtime executive director of the Springfield-Greene County Library District announced her retirement on Sept. 20.

Cooper will wrap up her 15 year career as the head of the library system at the end of 2023.

“She started during a time of transition for the District and has helped shape the Greene County Library System into one of the finest in the nation,” Rachael Morrow, the president of the Library Board of Trustees, said in press release from the District. “Her tenure certainly has been marked by our physical growth, but our program innovation has been just as important to keep our community learning and engaged.”

The release highlighted some of the major projects that Cooper oversaw during her tenure, including construction of new library branches in Willard and Republic, the renovation of the Schweitzer Brentwood branch and a new mobile library, among other initiatives. Republic is in line to get an expansion of its library branch.

“When I arrived, this Library was in a good place,” Cooper said in the release. “I didn’t have to solve any problems or get it back to a good place. It was already there, and all I had to do was work with a great staff to continue the high standards and great reputation that the library District already had. I hope that the new director will feel the same. Springfield is a great community and we have an amazing staff that serves our patrons. I have a strong affection for this community.”

The Library Board, which is composed of four members selected by the Greene County Commission and five appointed by the Springfield mayor, has begun the planning process to find Cooper’s replacement.

“As a Board, we extend to her heartfelt blessings in her retirement and are committed to seeking a new executive director who will continue to build upon the excellence Regina helped create and our community has grown to expect,” Morrow said.

Springfield Mayor Ken McClure congratulated Cooper in a news release from the city, which highlighted the District’s recognition as Missouri Library of the Year in 2013 and 2016.

“Regina has done a superb job of creating and running an effective program of library services for the citizens of Greene County,” McClure said. “She will leave big shoes to fill.”

This story was updated to include comments from Mayor Ken McClure.