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Posted on: November 6, 2019

Press Release: Melissa Oleen Selected to be Rowan County Public Library Director

Woman wearing burgundy turtleneck and striped blazer in front of bookcase

It’s a time of new beginnings for Rowan Public Library.  The three-branch system will soon add a fourth branch – West – located in Cleveland.  Director Jeff Hall retired October 25 after more than 12 years in the position, and now Rowan County Public Library has a new director at the helm.  

Melissa J. Oleen of Salisbury will oversee all operations of the Library, which has 78 full and part-time employees.  County Manager Aaron Church stated, “Melissa is a proven professional and we are fortunate that someone with her dedication to the County will be leading the Library.”

Oleen has over 18 years of experience in academic, special, community college and public libraries.  She has held several leadership roles at Rowan County Public Library, including supervisor of the Edith M. Clark History Room, Youth Services Supervisor, Library Services Manager, and, since July 2018, Deputy Director. 

“Rowan Public Library has a history of strong directors,” said Oleen.  “I am honored to have this opportunity.  The experience I gained working under Directors Phil Barton and Jeff Hall is priceless.  They taught me a lot about public librarianship, being a good steward of library budgets and advocating on behalf of library staff and users.”

Oleen plans to build on that foundation and has a strong vision for the future. “I look forward to building on the excellent library collections, services and programs currently provided by Rowan Public Library,” she said.

Oleen earned undergraduate degrees in history and English from Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS, and a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Indiana University Bloomington.  Oleen serves on the Board of Directors for Smart Start Rowan and is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal.

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For questions, contact Aaron Church at 704-216-8180.

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