Veteran library leader Donna Nicely announces retirement

Monday, June 6, 2011 at 5:10pm
Staff reports

Donna Nicely, the veteran director of the Nashville Public Library, will retire from her position effective Nov. 1.

Nicely, who has been with the library since 1995, stressed she will not pursue a conventional job, instead focusing on her various volunteer and board work.

"I feel so good about where the library is now that I can see it’s time professionally and personally to move on to other opportunities," Nicely said.

The Library Board of Trustees will undertake a national search to find a replacement, according to Mayor Karl Dean, who announced Nicely’s retirement Monday.

“During her 16-year tenure, Donna has taken our public library from average to exceptional,” Dean said in a release. “We have one of the best public libraries in the country, and with Donna’s strong leadership and expertise, we are bringing that same quality to our school libraries and transforming them into the centers for research and reading that our children deserve.”

Nicely’s planned retirement follows the library winning the 2010 National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the highest honor awarded to American libraries. Nicely visited the White House in December to receive the award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

Nicely is involved in many leadership positions in the Nashville community, including the boards of The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Downtown Partnership, Country Music Foundation, and Nashville’s Agenda Steering Committee. She served on the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board, and was chair from 2004 to 2005.

In July 2009, she was presented the Public Library Association’s Charlie Robinson Award. 

1 Comment on this post:

By: SirKnight on 6/7/11 at 12:36

Really hate to see Donna Nicely go, as she has given such strong support to getting a new and LONG OVERDUE library built in the Bellevue area. I really hope her replacement is as supportive and gives the project high priority. Bellevue is still working with a library facility that is over 40 years old and was originally built as a garage and storage shelter for the original Bellevue High School. It has consistently moved more books in and out of that branch per square foot than any other library in the system despite it's crowded and antiquated building!

Thank you, Ms. Nicely for your years of service to make Nashville a better place to live and learn.