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Freeholder Ian Leonard Recognized as Library Champion by NJLA

NEWS RELEASE April 21, 2015
Contact: Mark Amorosi, Public Information Officer, (856) 772-1636 ext. 7323

Nominated by Camden County Library for his work helping libraries serve local communities

Camden County Freeholder Ian Leonard honored as the New Jersey Library Association’s 2015 Library Champion. (Camden County Photo).

VOOHREES, NJ – April 21, 2015 – The Camden County Library is pleased to announce Freeholder Ian K. Leonard is being honored as a Library Champion by the New Jersey Library Association at its statewide annual conference in Long Branch today, Tuesday, April 21, 2015.

Camden County Library Director Linda Devlin nominated Leonard for the 2015 award by which the NJLA recognizes “outstanding individuals who seek the partnership of their library for the purpose of bringing good to the community.”

In her letter of nomination, Devlin states, “Freeholder Leonard is passionate about literacy and helping those in need, and he wants to make a difference in the city where he lives, Camden, NJ.  During the past year, he was instrumental in the implementation of free reading classes for adults at the Nilsa Cruz-Perez branch library in Camden.  He was also the driving force behind the construction of this branch, which was opened on the Rutgers-Camden campus in 2012.”

Freeholder Leonard realizes too many Camden residents go unemployed or under-employed because they cannot read or read very well. As the Board of Freeholder’s liaison to the county library system, Leonard noted, “It’s not enough to say that reading is fundamental, we need to proactively go out to the community and provide a service that will advance literacy and strengthen our society and workforce.

 “We know that literacy is critical to gaining employment and advancing education, and we also know that without it, life can be considerably harder and tougher to accomplish simple goals,” said Leonard.

Devlin reports the free reading classes initiated by Leonard are thriving with over 22 English as Second Language students and six Basic Literacy students all of whom attend regularly. In addition, the library recently began offering free tutoring in basic math skills on a weekly basis at its Cruz-Perez Downtown and Voorhees branches.

Freeholder Leonard was first appointed to the Board of Freeholders to fill a vacancy and was elected to his first full term in November 2009. He will retire from the seat in December 2015 when his second term expires.

Established in 1921, Camden County Library System seeks to meet the recreational, informational and educational needs of its customers with locations in Bellmawr, Camden, Gloucester Township, Haddon Township, Merchantville, Winslow Township and Voorhees.   The Library is governed and supported by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the Camden County Library Commission.


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