The Board of Directors of Providence Community Library (PCL) has appointed Cheryl Space as its new Library Director. The Board voted unanimously to promote Space into the Director role after Jeff Cannell, the previous Director, announced his retirement after two years in the role. Space, who has been Assistant Library Director since October 2017 and Youth Services Coordinator since 2014, stepped into her new position on June 24.
In one of her first actions as Director, Space announced that, from June 25, PCL would eliminate overdue fines on youth materials in PCL’s loan collections, removing a serious deterrent for children and teens who accrue fines that effectively prevent them from borrowing more materials and, in some cases, make them afraid of even entering the Library. Approximately 13,400 juveniles have library accounts at PCL.
As well as overseeing the leadership, management and strategic direction of the Library, Space is responsible for the implementation of PCL’s new strategic plan, following a comprehensive consultation process involving staff, library users, key stakeholders and community organizations. Space was a member of the committee that led the process, which concluded in spring 2018. As Youth Services Coordinator, Space designed and implementedSummer Reading in the Schoolyard, PCL’s successful mobile library project, coordinated a pilot program to provide every school student with a public library card and expanded Ready for Kindergarten, PCL’s school readiness program.
“I am delighted that Cheryl has accepted the appointment of Library Director,” said PCL Board President, Cyndie Wilmot. “She is a respected figure in the nonprofit and educational community at both state and city level and has demonstrated innovative thinking in the area of youth programming and services. She is the ideal person to implement PCL’s strategic plan and lead the Library toward a bright future.”
Prior to joining PCL, Space was Youth Services Coordinator at Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services, where she developed Kids Reading Across Rhode Island, a one book/one state book program for grades 3-6 and coordinated the State’s summer reading program. Space holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan. Space is an active member of professional working groups and associations and was a member of Mayor Jorge Elorza’s Summer Learning Taskforce. She received Library Journal’s Mover & ShakerAward in the area of literacy and learning in 2006. She lives in Providence with her husband, Will and daughter, Aster and dog, Radar.