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County Library Director Melinda Cervantes Elected Chair of Urban Libraries Council Executive Board

About Santa Clara County Library and the Urban Libraries Council

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF.— Melinda Cervantes, current Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Library Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and Santa Clara County Librarian, has been elected 2010-2011 Chair of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) Executive Board. Cervantes will lead a 16-member Board as they craft the organization’s strategic direction and work plan.

“Melinda is a strong leader and advocate,” said County of Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese, Delegate for the Santa Clara County Library Joint Powers Authority. “The Urban Libraries Council Executive Board will continue to benefit from her experience and vision.”

Cervantes has served as Executive Board Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the Urban Libraries Council and the Finance Committee. Her past responsibilities as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the ULC included gathering best practices from other library systems, which also supported implementation of the Santa Clara County Library strategic plan.

As Executive Director of the Santa Clara County Library Joint Powers Authority (JPA) and Santa Clara County Librarian, Cervantes provides library service to residents of nine cities and the unincorporated area of Santa Clara County. During her nearly 30 years in the library profession, Cervantes has supervised library construction projects, spearheaded reorganization and strategic plans and developed new partnerships to energize staffs and strengthen communities.

“It is an honor to be elected Chair of the Urban Libraries Council,” said Cervantes. “I am prepared to be a strong advocate for the needs and concerns of its members. I am enthusiastic about the future of urban public libraries and ready to carry the torch.”

The Santa Clara County Library has been a member of United Libraries Council for eight years. With Cervantes’ election as Chair, this is the second time in a row a Santa Clara County Library representative has been elected as board officer.

Cervantes previously held state and national association positions as Chair of the California Library Association Legislative Committee and Chair of the Public Library Association Legislative Committee. Since Cervantes’ appointment as County Librarian for Santa Clara County Library District in 2002, Santa Clara County Library has been recognized nine years in a row by Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings as one of the leading libraries delivering outstanding and cost effective services.

Cervantes has been active with ULC for the last seven years, most recently as the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect 2009-2010. She also chaired the ULC Nominating Committee (2010), the Forecasting Strategy Group (2007-2009), Foresight 2020 Task Force and the ULC Membership Committee (2005 -2007).

“ULC is fortunate to have Melinda as the Executive Board Chair,” said ULC President and CEO, Susan Benton. “She is thoughtful about the role of libraries today, and has a keen vision of the future of libraries. She brings a wealth of knowledge and energy as Chair.”

About Santa Clara County Library and the Urban Libraries Council

The Santa Clara County Library provides library services to residents of nine cities and the unincorporated area of Santa Clara County. To access the Santa Clara County Library System, visit www.sccl.org.

For more than three decades the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) has worked to strengthen public libraries as an essential part of urban life. More than 180 public libraries and corporations from all over North America belong to ULC.

A membership organization of North America’s premier public library systems and the corporations that serve them, ULC acts as forum for sharing best practices, resulting from targeted research, education and forecasting to deliver innovative programs and services to strengthen communities. ULC’s programs are acclaimed for inspiring new organizational models that invigorate urban libraries and enrich the areas surrounding them. ULC is headquartered in Chicago. For more information, visit www.urbanlibraries.org

Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Marina Hinestrosa, Office of Public Affairs (408) 299-5121; Melinda Cervantes, Santa Clara County Library (408) 299-2326 x3001.
Posted: July 15, 2010