Local leader starts new role at helm of Public Library Association

June 29, 2021

The Public Library Association (PLA) is welcoming its newest leader. Richland Library Executive Director Melanie Huggins is serving as the 2021-2022 president, following a virtual introduction ceremony on Tuesday, June 29 during the group’s annual conference.

In her official role, Huggins is bolstering the unique and evolving needs of nearly 10,000 public library professionals across the United States and Canada. It’s part of a three-year term, which includes one-year stints as president-elect (2020-2021) and immediate past-president (2022-2023).

“Libraries continue to play a critical role in our cities and counties,” said Huggins. “We’re able to thoughtfully and consciously make an impact by listening to and identifying the needs of local residents.”

Huggins has been with Richland Library since 2009, overseeing a $59 million bond referendum to enhance 11 existing library facilities as well as the addition of two new library locations. Under her leadership, the library’s vision has been to enhance the quality of life for the entire community.

“By offering innovative learning environments, removing economic barriers for entrepreneurs and artists, providing support during times of crisis and leading courageous conversations on social justice, we have the opportunity to create meaningful change by making our communities more livable, resilient and inclusive,” said Huggins.

To learn more about PLA, which was founded in 1944, visit www.ala.org/pla/.


About Richland Library

Awarded the National Medal in 2017 by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Richland Library is a vibrant, contemporary organization that provides resources and information that advance the Midlands. Offering state-of-the-art technology, a variety of literary and cultural programs and 13 bustling facilities located throughout the county, Richland Library provides a truly customizable, modern library experience for residents and visitors alike.