PLA President 2016–2017

Felton Thomas, Jr.

Candidate for PLA President (2016–2017) Felton Thomas, Jr.


Felton Thomas, Jr., was appointed director of the Cleveland (Ohio) Public Library (CPL) in January 2009.  Prior to accepting the position of director of CPL, Felton served as director of Regional Branch Services for the Las Vegas-Clark County (Nev.) Library District and President of the Nevada Library Association. He has served on PLA's Board of Directors since 2012 and standing committees since 2006, including PLA’s 2007 National Conference Program Committee and the 2010 Annual Conference Program Coordinating Committee. Most recently, he served as Chair of the 2013 Demco New Leaders Travel Grant Jury, and continues to serve on the ALA Chapter Relations Committee.

In 2013, Felton was named to the Aspen Institute's Task Force on Learning and the Internet. Additional awards and accomplishments include being named a “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal, and acting as a fellow in the Urban Library Council’s Executive Leadership Institute. Felton lives in Shaker Heights with his wife and two daughters, is an accomplished musician, and has become a devoted Cleveland sports fan since his arrival on the shores of Lake Erie.

Personal Statement

“I sincerely believe that public libraries can be transformational to the lives of the public we serve and have dedicated my life to this purpose. PLA is the premier organization for the transformation of public library service, and I welcome the opportunity to serve as President and be a part of its exciting and emerging future.”