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Melanie Huggins is the executive director of Richland Library in Columbia, SC, which received the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor.
She is a recognized leader and speaker in the library profession, having held trustee positions with both the Urban Libraries Council and the Public Library Association (PLA), and was recently named incoming president for PLA.
Recognized as an influential local leader, Melanie was awarded the Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award for her combination of vision and leadership, applied to arts and history, and the entire cultural foundation of the City of Columbia. She was also named a 2018 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands for her lasting impact in the community.
Focused on the future of libraries, Melanie has also served on the IMLS National Task Force to Define 21st Century Skills for Museums, and Public Libraries, and in 2015 was recognized internationally by Denmark’s Dokk1 on their Wall of Inspiration, which was unveiled during the Next Library Conference in Aarhus.
In addition to her work in the library community, Melanie is the immediate past chair of the Together SC Board of Directors, past president of the University of South Carolina’s University Associates Board, and former City Center Partnership board member.
Melanie has a Master of Library Science from the University of South Carolina and a BFA from Winthrop University. She is a Fellow of the 12th class of the Liberty Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.