Southwest Public Libraries: Meredith Wickham to succeed retiring Mark Shaw as director

Scott Hummel
ThisWeek group

The Southwest Public Libraries will have a new director starting Jan. 25.

The library board of trustees has chosen Meredith Wickham to succeed director Mark Shaw, who is retiring after 35 years.

Meredith Wickham

The board had conducted a nationwide search with the assistance of executive search consultants Bradbury Miller Associates of Kansas City, Missouri, before appointing Wickham, who is the director of the First Regional Library based in Hernando, Mississippi, and who oversees operations for one of the largest public library systems in the state, according to a Dec. 29 release from Southwest Public Libraries.

Wickham, a Georgia native, previously served in public libraries in South Carolina and Mississippi as a circulation assistant, young-adult librarian, branch manager and system director, according to the release.

She received a bachelor’s degree in French and German studies from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, the release said.

A statement from the library board reads: “Meredith is a seasoned professional who will lead us into the future. She is a fierce advocate for public libraries in the areas of youth literacy, staff development and equity. She also has extensive experience lobbying for funding in her state, among other talents. We are excited to welcome her to Buckeye country.”

Southwest Public Libraries serves southwest Franklin county and surrounding areas through its two branches, Grove City Library and Westland Area Library.

Wickham, 47, will spend time with Shaw before his departure to ensure a smooth and successful transition, the release said.

"I am thrilled to be joining the Southwest Public Libraries' team," Wickham said. "SPL has already impressed me with its excellent and dedicated board and professional staff, plus its superior reputation and consistent track record for high-quality, patron-focused services. I was attracted from the start by SPL's beautiful libraries and the dynamic, growing communities they serve. I look forward to getting to know my new colleagues and the people of the South-Western City School District very soon."

Wickham's salary will be $125,000 per year, and she'll receive health, vacation and sick-time benefits, which all full-time library employees receive, according to Joanna Morehart, the library system's communications manager.

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com for updates and watch for a story reflecting on Shaw's tenure.

shummel@thisweeknews.com

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