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UNT Insider | July 2008 Issue | Faculty Focus

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UNT librarian elected Texas Library Association president

From a UNT News Service press release

Melody Kelly

Melody Kelly

Melody Kelly, associate dean of UNT Libraries, recently took the position of president of the Texas Library Association for the 2008-09 term.

As the association's president, Kelly will be the chief elected officer for the largest state library organization in the United States. Through the association, she will work to support library funding throughout the state for school, public, special and academic libraries.

"It will be my task to encourage the identification and the development of implementation strategies that will carry forward the Texas Library Association's vision for transforming Texas libraries," Kelly says. "This process will only just begin during my presidential term, and it will be up to the next president and the membership to keep the transformation process going so that Texas libraries working together are able to serve any Texan any time and any place through their local library facility or via the internet - bricks or clicks."

In addition to working with the Texas Library Association to prepare for the upcoming legislative session, she will be responsible for appointing more than 100 people to the various standing committees and task forces of the Texas Library Association. She also will chair the association's executive board and its governing body, the Texas Library Association Council.

"Libraries are instruments for innovation, success and self-fulfillment," Kelly says. "Our purpose is simple but profoundly important to our state and country: help individuals and society advance. Libraries are molded by the ideal that, in a true democracy, society must maintain open and public structure [systems] to inform and empower a free thinking populace for the betterment of all."

She adds that adequate funding for all types of libraries is essential to strong library services.

Kelly has served on the association's board prior to her recent election, including as the 2007-08 president elect and as a representative at large for a three-year term.

Other UNT faculty members from UNT's School of Library and Information Sciences also have served on the board, including Herman Totten, dean of the School of Library and Information Sciences, who served as president from 2001-02; Denton resident Margaret Irby Nichols, former assistant dean of the school, who served as president during the 1984-85 term; and Yvonne Chandler, associate professor, who recently completed a three-year term as representative at large.

Kelly has been associate dean of libraries since 2001, following her tenure as UNT's head of government documents from 1984 to 2001. She also served as an assistant government documents librarian from 1981 to 1984 and as an assistant social sciences librarian beginning from 1974 until 1984. She received her bachelor's, master of arts and master of library science degrees from UNT.

The School of Library and Information Sciences at UNT awarded her with its prestigious Distinguished Service Award in 2005. Her other awards include the Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Founders Award from the American Library Association in 2004 and the Knowledge is Power Award from the Texas Library Association and Marcive, Inc. in 2000.

The Texas Library Association is a nonprofit, educational organization formed in 1902 to promote library service in Texas. Its mission includes the development and maintenance of library services which will meet the informational, cultural, educational and recreational needs of the citizens of Texas. The 7,300 members of the association include school, public, academic and special librarians, as well as library supporters. For more information about the association, contact Patricia Smith at 512-328-1518 or pats@txla.org or visit http://www.txla.org. Information about the governance of the association is available at http://www.txla.org/html/govern.html.

UNT News Service press release
Buddy Price can be reached at buddy.price@unt.edu.

Read other stories in this issue:

July 2008

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