Melissa Oleen name Rowan Public Library director
SALISBURY — Melissa J. Oleen has been named the new director of Rowan Public Library, replacing Jeff Hall, who retired Oct. 25 after 12 years in the position.
Oleen has more than 18 years of experience in academic, special, community college and public libraries. She has held several leadership roles at the Rowan library, including supervisor of the Edith M. Clark History Room, Youth Services supervisor, Library Services manager, and, since July 2018, deputy director.
“Rowan Public Library has a history of strong directors,” said Oleen. “I am honored to have this opportunity. The experience I gained working under directors Phil Barton and Jeff Hall is priceless. They taught me a lot about public librarianship, being a good steward of library budgets and advocating on behalf of library staff and users.”
The three-branch Rowan Public Library system will soon add a fourth — West branch –located in Cleveland.
Oleen, of Salisbury, will oversee all operations of the library, which has 78 full- and part-time employees. The branches include the headquarters in Salisbury; East, in Rockwell; and South Rowan Regional, in China Grove.
“Melissa is a proven professional, and we are fortunate that someone with her dedication to the county will be leading the library,” said County Manager Aaron Church.
Oleen said she plans to build on that foundation and has a strong vision for the future.
“I look forward to building on the excellent library collections, services and programs currently provided by Rowan Public Library,” she said.
Oleen earned undergraduate degrees in history and English at Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and a master of library and information science degree at Indiana University Bloomington.
Oleen is on the board of directors for Smart Start Rowan and is a North Carolina State Bar certified paralegal.