Cleveland Public Library Builds Solid Foundation to Launch its 150th Year

January 28, 2019 CLEVELAND, OH – In 2019, Cleveland Public Library celebrates 150 years of service to the city of Cleveland. Under the leadership of Director Felton Thomas, Jr., the Library has rapidly evolved to meet the changing needs of the Cleveland community. But now, Thomas is looking forward and evaluating the role Cleveland Public Library plays in the fabric of a vibrant city.


As such, the Library announced today additions to its leadership team to shepherd the organization in to the future.


Since early in 2017, Director Thomas and Cleveland Public Library Deputy Director and Chief of Staff Tena Wilson have been thoughtfully recruiting top industry professionals to round out its leadership team.


“To best serve our community, we need leaders with experience who are passionate about and know libraries and can help our organization look forward,” Thomas explains. “We are very fortunate to have a dedicated staff, across all of our 27 branches, and the Main research library. We want to build on our strengths, understand the talents and skills needed for a true 21st century library for Cleveland.”


Joining the executive team, effective mid-January, are Lynn Sargi, Chief Talent Officer; Tana K. Peckham, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer; and Sadie Winlock, Director of Equity & Inclusion Initiatives.

Sargi, who most recently was Director of Human Resources for Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities, brings 25 years of human resource experience. She has extensive experience in implementing best practices and process improvements in talent acquisition, employee relations, and organizational development.


Peckham, was recruited from Nestlé USA. A 15 year marketing veteran whose career started in the non-profit sector, Peckham has experience launching multi-channel marketing campaigns like Made for You to Love for the Stouffer’s brand in 2016 and advising brands from Nestlé Toll House, to Hot Pockets, and DiGiorno Pizza, on their brand strategy and communications campaigns.


Winlock was most recently the Chief Executive Officer for the Akron Urban League. She joins the Library with over 30 years of both corporate and nonprofit experience in leadership and program development. As CEO of the Akron Urban League, Winlock was instrumental in expanding the organization’s capacity in fund development, educational and professional skills training as well as effectively engaging the community-at-large in diversity and inclusion conversations.


These recent additions join Thomas, Wilson, and the rest of the leadership team, who successfully navigated a levy campaign to support Cleveland Public Library and earned a five-Star Library status by the Library Journal for the fifth year in a row. The Library leaders will join Director Thomas when he delivers his State of the Library on Wednesday, February 27 at the City Club of Cleveland and speaks to the future vision of the organization.

“The foundation has been laid, but we are only just beginning,” continues Thomas. “As we celebrate our 150th year, we have been assessing the growing needs of the Greater Cleveland community, partnering with organizations across the city, and thinking through the role Cleveland Public Library can play in making a difference. It’s all in the reimagining of how we serve – our community of early learners, students, and lifelong learners – those who most depend on their library.”


About Cleveland Public Library


Founded in 1869, the Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit www.cpl.org.


In 2019, Cleveland Public Library will celebrate its 150th anniversary as The People’s University, the center of learning for a diverse and inclusive community. A year-long series of events are planned to mark Cleveland Public Library’s 150 years of service to the city of Cleveland. All CPL 150 events will be free and open to the public, so that all Clevelanders may participate regardless of personal circumstances.

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