Candidate for Director-at-Large (Three-Year Term)
Melinda was appointed executive director of the Pima County (Ariz.) Public Library in 2012. Prior to joining PCPL, Melinda served as executive director of the Santa Clara County Library District from 2002–2012. During her tenure at SCCLD, she was instrumental in leading the organization through a strategic planning process and market research project and transforming the library to a dynamic, technologically advanced learning organization on the leading edge of public libraries nationally.
Melinda also served as deputy county librarian for Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library and director of the Tigard (Ore.) Public Library where she secured seed money for a new library. While director of the Pinal County (Ariz.) Library Federation, she was awarded the 1997 Arizona Library Association Librarian of the Year Award for initiating the first ILS in this rural county. During the greatest population growth the City of Chandler, Arizona, had experienced, Melinda served as principal librarian for Public Services and was instrumental in planning and design for a 35,000 sf temporary library and a 60,000 sf new library. Early in her career, Melinda worked in academic, community college and school libraries at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio; Maricopa Community College District in Arizona; and rural and urban school libraries in Bowling Green and Cleveland, Ohio.
Most recently, Melinda has been recognized by her peers as the 2010 California Library Association Member of the Year and by California State Senator and library advocate Joe Simitian as the 2011 Woman of the Year. Melinda is the Immediate Past Chair of the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board, Co-Chair of the Tucson Festival of Books and previously served as Chair of the California Library Association Legislative Committee.
Melinda received a bachelor’s degree in Education from Bowling Green State University, Ohio and a master’s degree in library science from Kent State University, Ohio. She has taken additional courses at the University of Alaska/Fairbanks and Xavier University, Ohio and graduated from the Stanford University/California State Library Leadership Institute and the Stanford University Center for Leadership and Transformation program.
“PLA has been integral to the success of public libraries and to my own personal story. At a time when public libraries are treading water due to reduced local, state, and federal funding, we continue to work together on behalf of the public to fight for access to digital content, intellectual freedom, privacy of records, hours of operation, and in some communities the mere existence of public libraries. Our voices are needed now more than ever. I look forward to the opportunity to represent the public library community on the PLA Board of Directors.”