National search culminates with selection of Dena Little

A Virginia librarian who previously worked in Ohio will become director at Morrisson-Reeves Library in early December.

Dena Little will become the Richmond library’s sixth director since its founding in 1864, its board of trustees announced on Monday.

“Dena’s depth and breadth of library experience, strong communication skills, knowledge of and approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), approachability, and professionalism are among her many strengths,” board president Jennifer Lewis said in a news release.

Little is coming to Wayne County from Arlington Public Library in Virginia, where she served in leadership roles for the past five years, most recently as assistant division chief. She also has experience in Ohio public library systems.

Little’s strengths include project management, staff development, strategic and outcomes planning and analytical evaluation, MRL officials said.

MRL’s director manages all aspect of library services, including a staff of 50 employees and a budget of $2.6 million, according to the position’s job description that was advertised nationally.

“She believes in leading with transparency, is inquisitive, and thrives on learning and sharing new technology and ideas,” the release said. “She believes that library leadership and service begin with people. With that foundation, Dena remains steady on her focus to serve the community and lead her team by fostering collaborative leadership and lateral thinking.”

Little replaces Paris Pegg, who is retiring after 10 years at MRL.

Pegg plans to stay in the area. In her earlier retirement announcement, she said that of all the places she has lived, Richmond is “the best combination of a small town, ‘family feel’ and big-city convenience.”

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.