Gov. Beshear Appoints Denise Lyons Commissioner of Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 27, 2023) — Denise Rae Lyons brings decades of industry experience as the newly appointed commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA). Governor Andy Beshear recently appointed the North Carolina transplant, who steps into her new position on May 1, 2023.

Lyons brings 30 years of professional experience in education in addition to working with nonprofit organizations and libraries. Her expertise includes professional development, early and family literacy, project management, and strategic planning. Currently, she is conducting original research on emergency preparedness and the value of libraries to communities during disasters.

“I am thrilled to accept this new challenge in Kentucky, and I look forward to working with the dynamic group of professionals at KDLA,” Lyons said. “Not only is what we do for the commonwealth important, I consider this opportunity to serve as a privilege to do what I love while working with others who are also committed to serving with excellence.” 

Lyons holds a certificate in executive management from the University of Washington, a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of South Carolina, a master’s degree in public services management from DePaul University, and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University.

“We are thrilled to find someone with Commissioner Lyons’ extensive experience to lead our wonderful and dedicated team at KDLA,” said Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link. “We are excited about what the future holds with her at the helm steering KDLA into the future.”

The mission of KDLA is to provide equitable access to quality library and information resources and services, as well as help public agencies ensure that legislatively mandated documentation of government programs are created, efficiently maintained and made accessible.

For more information on KDLA resources, programs, and services, visit or call 502-564-1702.