James A. Nelson, the state librarian and commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), has been elected board chairperson of the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET), a non-profit membership organization.
Nelson of Georgetown was elected during the organization’s recent annual membership meeting in Atlanta. SOLINET was founded in 1973 and has a membership of more than 2,600 libraries in 10 Southeastern states and the Caribbean. The network promotes enhanced access to information resources and library services.
Nelson, a member of the SOLINET board since 2002, served as secretary of the board in 2003 and has served on the organization’s Bylaws and Governance Committee.
“Chairing the Board of Directors of the oldest and largest regional library services network in the nation is a great honor for me, personally and professionally,” Nelson told board members. “SOLINET is extremely well managed and is noted for its fine staff, so I will be able to focus on our relationship with members and potential areas of regional collaboration in order to help strengthen member libraries on their campuses and in their communities."
Since 1980, Nelson has managed KDLA, the state agency responsible for statewide library development and management and preservation of public records in Kentucky. KDLA is an agency of the Kentucky Education Cabinet.
“Commissioner Nelson skillfully manages and preserves an amazing amount of resources, records, collections and oral and written Kentucky history that is important to our state. His talents and abilities have been invaluable to Kentucky so it is not surprising that his colleagues would choose him to lead the largest national organization of its kind. I think it says a lot about our state when Kentucky officials are tapped for the top regional and national positions in their respective fields,” said Kentucky Education Cabinet Secretary Virginia G. Fox.
Nelson earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado in 1965 and a master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky in 1969. His nearly 40-year career in libraries and archives has garnered him numerous professional awards including the 2003 Kentucky Libraries Award and 2002 Innovation Award from the Kentucky Library Association; the 1997 Professional Achievement Award from the American Library Association and a 1985 Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Kentucky, College of Library and Information Science.
KDLA provides grants, technical assistance and direct services to libraries, archival repositories and public agencies throughout Kentucky. In addition, it offers reference, research and specialized information services from Frankfort. For more information about KDLA services, go to www.kdla.ky.gov.
The Education Cabinet coordinates learning programs from P-16, and manages and supports training and employment functions in the Department for Workforce Investment. For more information about our programs, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov or call 502-564-6606.