Charlotte Mecklenburg Library names new CEO and chief librarian

Nationally recognized library leader Marcellus "MT" Turner to begin April 1.
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Marcellus “MT” Turner will become Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s new CEO and chief librarian, the library announced Monday. He begins April 1.

Turner brings more than 30 years of experience to the role and recognition as a thought leader on how urban libraries can help solve community challenges. Most recently, he spent nearly a decade as Seattle Public Library’s executive director and chief librarian, where he managed the system’s 27 libraries.

“There is a tremendous opportunity to better understand and serve the evolving needs of Charlotte Mecklenburg,” Turner said in a statement. “I am committed to ensuring the Library supports, enhances and empowers the changing ways our residents live, learn and engage.”

He will take on key roles in the Blueprint 2025 Vision Plan, the library’s diversity and equity efforts and fundraising to complete the $100 million, state-of-the-art Main Library scheduled to open in 2024.

[Related: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library launches initiative amplifying Black stories]

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The new Main Library will be a 115,000-square-foot space in uptown Charlotte. The $100 million project is scheduled for completion and opening in early 2024. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
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The library’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved Turner’s appointment as the system’s second CEO, following a national search to replace Lee Kessler, who will retire on April 1. 

“Marcellus Turner is an exceptional leader whose experience and visionary approach make him the ideal person to lead the development and direction of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library,” said Joe Helweg, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board of Trustees chair and head of the search committee. 

Turner earned a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi University for Women and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Tennessee.

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