North Carolina State Librarian Mary L. Boone (MSLS ‘73), SILS distinguished alumna and chair of the SILS Board of Visitors, will retire from the State Library in January of 2012. Boone has held her position as state librarian since 2005.
Since graduating from SILS in 1973, Boone has held positions that have taken her around the world. From 1978 to 1985, she served as director of the Chapel Hill Public Library and helped found the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association. In 1985, Boone was appointed to the position of Foreign Service Library/Information Resource Officer with the United States Information Agency and the U.S. Department of State.
“Who would have ever thought that my MSLS from SILS would prove to be a passport to the whole world!" said Boone. "Immediately after I received my degree, I worked at the Peace Corps Library in Washington, D.C., providing research services to volunteers and staff in countries ranging from Mali to Fiji. I then moved to Germany where I worked with the U.S. Army Library Program for several years.” Boone’s work in Foreign Service also included overseas tours in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
In December 2003, the SILS Alumni Association honored Boone with a Distinguished Alumni Award. Just two years later, she was appointed as the State Librarian of North Carolina.
As state librarian, Boone has led the Library forward with many great accomplishments including renaming the nearly 200 year-old library the NC Government & Heritage Library; creating the nationally recognized Digital Information Management Program; transitioning to digital the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Talking Books Program; completing an inventory of cultural resource institutions in North Carolina; establishing the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and much more that has made the Library the exceptional institution it is today.
With the time she will have following her retirement, Boone looks forward to spending some of her time traveling, reading, and visiting the friends she has made during her many years as a librarian.