December 14, 2009
San Diego County Library Director José Aponte was named California Library Association (CLA) Member of the Year in November at the annual CLA conference in Pasadena. The award was given for “exemplary leadership, dedication and commitment to the vision of the California Library Association.” Aponte has been a CLA member for 19 years. Among his accomplishments are the following: 1) member of the CLA Legislative Committee, 2) member of the American Library Association (ALA) Advocacy Committee, 3) member of the Board of Directors of the American Library Association/Public Library Association, 4) ALA Counselor at Large, 5) member of the Board of Directors, CLA Association of County Librarians. His record of leadership in the development of libraries and improvement of library service includes his appointment to the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries Advisory Council, and to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.
Aponte’s reputation is known internationally, and he is often invited to give keynote remarks at conferences. His presentations include being the featured speaker at the Serra Cooperative Library System’s Transborder Library Forum (2009), keynote presenter at the National Conference of the Argentine Library Association (2008), and keynote speaker at the Intercultural Toolkit Symposium at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science (2006).
Under Aponte’s leadership, the County Library’s growth has exploded in the past three years, as the Library has added more than 5,000 open hours per year, increased program attendance by more than 200,000 (112%) and doubled circulation from 4 million to 8.3 million.
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