At its annual Staff Development Day on Oct. 14, Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) announced John L. Dart Branch Manager K’Lani Green as the winner of the inaugural Cynthia Graham Hurd Staff Award. This award honors the memory of Hurd, a 31-year veteran of CCPL, who was killed in the Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting in 2015.
The award is presented in recognition of a current staff member who has demonstrated to the public and community the same spirit, enthusiasm, dedication and commitment exhibited by Cynthia in carrying out the mission of CCPL. To be eligible, an employee must have completed one full year of service and have at least one written nomination submitted on their behalf by another staff member.
“K’Lani embodies everything this award, and Cynthia, represent,” said Executive Director Angela Craig. “We are proud to have her as part of the CCPL family.”
To develop this award, CCPL staff worked closely with Cynthia’s brothers Melvin and Malcolm Graham, and the Graham family, to establish an opportunity to celebrate Cynthia’s memory and recognize outstanding staff on an annual basis.
“I think K’Lani is a wonderful first recipient for the award,” said Melvin Graham. “She does what she does without fanfare, celebration, or notoriety, simply putting her hand out and doing the work that needs to be done. That reminds me so much of Cynthia.”
K’Lani, a Charleston native, has been part of the library world for much of her adult life. After working as a page at CCPL in college, she attended library school at the University of South Carolina. She obtained her Master of Library and Information Science degree in 2010, then worked in library systems in upstate South Carolina as well as Nashville, TN before returning to Charleston. In 2017, she became the manager of CCPL’s John L. Dart branch located in Downtown Charleston. There, she has participated as a mentor in the Public Library Association’s Inclusive Internship Initiative, was involved with the planning of the 90th anniversary celebration for the John L. Dart Library, served on the steering committee for the Butterfly Book Nook and Garden in the North Central neighborhood, and worked with many other community and library engagements.
For more information about CCPL, visit ccpl.org.