Skip to content SPLF applauds outgoing chief librarian Marcellus Turner’s decade of service to Seattle – The Seattle Public Library Foundation

The Board and staff of The Seattle Public Library Foundation wish to thank outgoing Chief Librarian and Executive Director, Marcellus Turner, for his nearly 10 years of admirable leadership at The Seattle Public Library.

Turner, known to most at the Library and Foundation as “MT,” will leave his post March 31 to become CEO and Chief Librarian of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, N.C.

“MT’s love of community, fervent belief in libraries’ power, and vision of libraries of the future have inspired us during a pivotal 10 years for The Seattle Public Library,” said Pat Walker, Board President of The Seattle Public Library Foundation. “We are thrilled for the new chapter in his career and wish him the very best.”

During his tenure in Seattle, Turner and the Foundation have partnered in securing two successful Library levy measures to increase the Library’s capacity to meet the community’s needs. The Library and Foundation have also collaborated on addressing the “digital gap” by building up the Library’s Wi-Fi Hotspot lending program, steering the Library through the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and deploying the equity-based programs and services that secured the Library its 2020 Library of the Year recognition from Gale/Library Journal.

“We have shared a wonderful journey with MT making The Seattle Public Library the best it can be for our community,” said Jonna Ward, CEO of the Foundation. “We at the Foundation have been proud to support his vision of a library that centers equity in its service delivery and continually innovates to meet emerging challenges in our city.”

The Foundation will host a virtual donor reception with MT at 10:30 a.m. March 24. An invitation will follow.

Here’s the Feb. 8 announcement from The Seattle Public Library:

The Seattle Public Library announced that Executive Director and Chief Librarian Marcellus Turner, who has led the Library since 2011, is accepting a new post as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Librarian for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, N.C.

“I am so grateful and proud to have led a passionate and creative team of people at The Seattle Public Library who deliver library services to one of the greatest cities of literature in the world,” said Turner. “I am confident the Library – with its dedicated board, strong leadership, committed staff and community support – will make a smooth transition, and I personally can’t wait to see how that unfolds. Thank you, Seattle, for the opportunity to be a part of your story.”

In a statement, The Seattle Public Library Board of Trustees president Jay Reich praised Turner’s leadership and accomplishments during his nearly 10 years of service, which he says leaves the Library in an ideal position to make the transition.

“While the Library Board of Trustees is very sad to see Chief Librarian Turner leave, his leadership has created a foundation of excellence that I know will sustain us through this transition and beyond,” said Reich. “Under his watch, the Library has earned national recognition and has underscored and reinforced its commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. He leaves the Library well prepared for continued success. We wish him well in his new role.”

Reich said the Library Board will name an interim Chief Librarian very soon and will immediately begin the search for a permanent replacement. View Reich’s complete statement on

Turner’s last day at The Seattle Public Library will be Wednesday, March 31. He will begin his new position as CEO and Chief Librarian of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library on Thursday, April 1.