January 18, 2022

Kentucky Has a New State Librarian

From the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet:

Governor Matt Bevin has appointed Terry Manuel, a 24-year employee with the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA), as the new State Librarian and Commissioner of KDLA. Manuel has served as the Acting State Librarian/Commissioner since February 2016.

“I am delighted that Terry Manuel is heading the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. Terry’s expertise as both a librarian and historian and his passion for Kentucky’s libraries make him an excellent choice to lead the agency,” said Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Hal Heiner. KDLA is an agency in the cabinet.

A native of Prestonsburg, Manuel has made an inspirational journey from dropping out of high school in his senior year to earning a GED, bachelor’s degrees in history and sociology, a master’s degree in library science and a law degree. He is currently working on his doctorate in public administration from Capella University.

“I’m humbled and honored at the confidence Governor Bevin and Secretary Heiner have shown by my appointment,” said Manuel. The part libraries play in their local communities is changing, and the vital role they play in community educational and economic development is expanding, as well. I look forward to being a part of these changes, and to assisting libraries to meet the challenges yet to come.”

Manuel’s interest in pursuing a career with libraries was sparked when he was assigned to the library at Alice Lloyd College as part of the school’s work-study program. He transferred to Pikeville College and earned his bachelor’s degrees in 1984.

His first professional library job was 30 years ago as the outreach librarian and bookmobile driver for Floyd County Public Library in Prestonsburg. He was promoted to library director in 1986 and earned his master’s degree in library science from the University of Kentucky during that time.

Manuel’s move to Wyoming State Library in 1989 introduced him to library advocacy and administration. He returned to Kentucky in 1992 and joined KDLA as a regional consultant and earned a master’s degree in law from Champlain College in 2011.

During his career with KDLA, Manuel has served in a wide range of positions in the Program Development Branch, including manager of the unit from 2007-2014. He also assisted library districts with cutting-edge technology issues such as the technology/E-Rate consultant, and provided managerial and technical support to districts in eastern Kentucky as a regional library consultant.

As State Librarian, Manuel will be responsible for assisting 120 local public libraries in library development and management statewide, as well as for preservation of public records in Kentucky.

Currently, the State Archives hold 110,000 cubic feet of permanent public records dating from 1780 to the present, and 230,714 cubic feet of state and local temporary records in the State Records Center. The permanent record holdings include invaluable documents, such as letters signed by President Abraham Lincoln, a deed signed by Patrick Henry, archival drawings and plans of the state capitol building, and governors’ records going back to Gov. Isaac Shelby.

In 2012, Manuel received the Outstanding Public Library Services Award from the Kentucky Public Library Association.

“KDLA does an excellent job of preserving Kentucky’s heritage for future generations through the state archives and strengthening our local public libraries. Terry’s background and track record of accomplishments will serve the agency well in these monumental undertakings,” Heiner said.

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.