2015 Joey Rodger Leadership Award Winner

Karen BeachThe Urban Libraries Council (ULC) is pleased to present Karen Beach, Deputy Director of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation, with the 2015 Joey Rodger Leadership Award.

Dedicating over 20 years of service to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Ms. Beach developed innovative outreach initiatives to high-need communities with a strong focus on early literacy, helped build over 130 community partnerships and led the expansion of the Library’s community volunteer program. She has also been a vocal advocate for public libraries on the local and state levels, convening community conversations to reduce budget cuts and organizing activities to educate state legislators on the critical role libraries play in education, digital inclusion, workforce development and more. Ms. Beach’s work led to the formation of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Foundation in 2012 and a partnership with the Friends Council in 2013. Through extensive community outreach and funding support, the Foundation is critical to the library’s long-term sustainability.

"I am greatly honored to be selected as this year’s recipient of ULC’s Joey Rodger Leadership Award," she said. "At the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, we’re thinking critically and creatively about the Library’s role in our community – creating a blueprint for how the Library will respond to changing community needs in 2025. With ULC support, I look forward to gaining new skills and personal insights from the Brookings Institution leadership training that will stretch our thinking as we create new approaches to service delivery, collaborative partnerships and a sustainable future."