avatar for Melanie Huggins

Melanie Huggins

Richland Library
Executive Director
Guided by the “Library as Studio” approach, Melanie’s team is currently leading renovations and expansions funded by a successful 2013 bond referendum. The twelve renovations and new building projects include a joint-use, project based learning high school paired with a 30,000 SF library branch and the renovation of 240,000 SF of library space at the Main Library that includes artists’ studios, a theatre, film and media production labs and a maker space. Melanie was named a 2018 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands for her lasting impact in the community. She was recently named the recipient of the Stephen G. Morrison Visionary Award which honors the best combination of vision and leadership, applied to arts and history and the entire cultural foundation of the City of Columbia. Her work is influenced by her belief that libraries are uniquely positioned to make communities more livable, resilient and inclusive. Melanie served as Director-at-Large for the Public Library Association from 2014-2017 as well as the Urban Libraries Council Executive Board from 2010-2016. She was named the 2012 South Carolina Outstanding Librarian by the South Carolina Library Association. She is a South Carolina Liberty Fellow, member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and a member of the Spring 2018 class of the Riley Diversity Leaders Institute. Most importantly she is the harried, forgetful mom to Adeline, Lila and Shepard and concert-going buddy to her super-smart husband, J.C.