Burney Award winner appointed to library board
by Staff Writer
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education named Leland Park, of Davidson, to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board of Trustees on Dec. 13.
The Former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools appointee Magdalena Maiz-Peña left the board of trustees earlier this year. The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners appoints the other 10 trustees.
Park started out as a reference librarian at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library on Tryon Street in 1964.
“Since that was my first professional job, coming back, now on the board, is coming ‘full circle’ 48 years later. Sentimentally, happening at ‘this end’ of my journey, it means a lot. The library was and is the best in the Carolinas,” Park said in an email. “And before the cuts, a few years ago, it got named No. 1 public library in the country. It can happen again, I do believe.”
He served as the library director for Davidson College from 1975 to 2006. Park graduated from Davidson College, where he retains the title of library director emeritus.
The Town of Davidson honored Park with the G. Jackson Burney Community Service Award last month. Park contributed the award’s $500 donation to the Davidson Library Endowment Fund.
“There is not a person who has been more steadfast in his support of the library in this town than Leland,” Davidson branch Library Manager Ellen Giduz said at the Burney Award ceremony.
Park worked in 2010 with the Future of the Library Task Force to recommend strategies for a sustainable library system, according to a news release.
“He will be a great asset for the process we are in now, which is implementing those recommendations,” Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Deputy Director of Marketing and Communications Cordelia Anderson said.
The 39 task force recommendations are acting as the library’s guiding strategic plan. Park and the other trustees will begin work next year on a strategic plan effective in 2013, Anderson said.
Park took an active role in helping save the Davidson branch library in 2010.
“When the budget crisis came, under great young leadership in Davidson, we ‘worked the neighborhoods’ again and sold engraved bricks for a patio in front of the Davidson branch and raised over the $175,000 needed to keep the library afloat,” Park said. “Davidson loves its library. And it is also blessed with Dr. Ellen Giduz, who is the library manager for the Davidson and Cornelius branches.”
Park has also served as president of the North Carolina Library Association and editor of the Southeastern Librarian.
“We are so pleased that the Charlotte Mecklenburg Board of Education has appointed Leland,” Library Board Chair Robin Branstrom said in a news release. “Not only is he well regarded in this community, but he brings such vast experience in library management.”
In his role on the board, Park will help with the management of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. He will also work with the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners and contributors on funding issues.
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