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July 9, 2008

Library Director retires after 23 years

Carol Pelz, Director of the Grandview Heights Public Library since October 1985, retires on July 31, 2008.

Pelz leaves a rich legacy of progressive leadership, innovative advances, and collaboration, establishing a unique reputation for the Library in the Grandview Heights community, the City of Columbus, and the State of Ohio.

The Library and the community wish her all the best in her retirement. She is succeeded by current Assistant Director Mary Ludlum, who assumes the directorship on August 1, 2008.

Pelz received her MLS from Indiana University. Prior to coming to the Grandview Library, her positions included:

  • Director of three public libraries of various sizes in Indiana
  • Manager of Fine Arts and Audio Visual at Allen County Public Library (Fort Wayne, IN)
  • Manager of the Audio Visual Department Columbus Metropolitan Library (Columbus, OH), where she also coordinated collection development.

During her tenure as Director, the Grandview Library has:

  • Passed numerous levies
  • Conducted three building revisions
  • Established the Grandview Library Endowment Fund & the Grandview Heights Public Library Foundation
  • Grown from an annual circulation of 450,000 to more than 1.5 million
  • Instituted many public programs & services with a focus on technology for public service excellence.   

Through Pelz’s leadership, vision and dedication to progressive service, the Grandview Library has become one of the best public libraries in the state of Ohio and in the nation. It has ranked in the top ten of libraries in its class and falls regularly in the 99th percentile of the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings.

Pelz has made presentations on digitization issues, led library technology projects and was an early adopter of automation. She, along with three other Library Directors, founded the Central (Ohio) Library Consortium (CLC) in 1988. Funded by an LSTA grant, the CLC has grown to nine libraries on SirsiDynix Horizon and offers numerous databases, cooperative purchasing and digitization services to the membership. The CLC was among the first in Ohio to institute daily delivery among the members to share materials and to do cooperative licensing of databases.

Pelz administered the CLC and has written several LSTA grants for the membership, including: 

  •, initially a collection of local yearbooks and the photo archive of a major area newspaper which is no longer published
  • Mid-Ohio Library Digital Initiative (MOLDI), a collection of OverDrive’s digital books, audiobooks, music, and video. The collection is shared with 12 libraries in Ohio and Kentucky. This site has won awards for its promotional efforts and is one of the most successful projects in the country.

Pelz expanded the Grandview Library’s tradition of leading the field in technology & methodologies new to libraries as well as maintained its identity as a friendly, welcoming center for the community.

The Grandview Library is a destination place—physically and online—thanks to Pelz’s creativity, dedication, leadership, vision and energy.

We extend our appreciation for her dedication and service to the Library, and we wish her well in future endeavors.

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