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Charlotte Area

Library Director Stepping Down

The director of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's library system is stepping down. The library board approved Charles Brown's resignation today. Brown led the library for seven years. During that time the library expanded and won national awards. But budget cuts over the past year prompted the library to lay off 180 people and drastically curtail library hours. Brown says the timing is right for him to step aside, since he says there's a need for different types of management when budgets are so stretched. "It's critical that we recognize the need for different types of management based on changing environmental and organizational needs," Brown said in prepared statement. Mecklenburg County Commissioner Chairwoman Jennifer Roberts praises Brown's contribution to the library. "He did some great things in our library system, was well-supported by the community, was one of the folks that helped the library get national recognition and the library system is going to miss him," she said. But Brown came under criticism last year after the county commission cut its budget mid-year. The library system responded by saying it would have to close 12 libraries. After much public outcry, the board decided to reverse that decision and curtail library hours instead. Former Bank of America executive Vick Phillips will take over as interim director. He recently conducted an analysis of the library's operations. Brown will stay on till June to help with the transition.