Library names development director

Karen Kllanxhja, a seven-year staff member of Mesa County Libraries, has been named development director for the library district.

In her new role, Kllanxhja will lead grant-writing and fund-raising activities for the library district and serve as liaison to the Mesa County Public Library Foundation and Friends of the Mesa County Libraries.

Kllanxhja brings to her duties more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit and governmental program development, management and fund-raising. For the past seven years, she has served as head of literacy services for Mesa County Libraries and was responsible for developing and implementing programs to meet goals for the library literacy center.

Under Kllanxhja’s direction, the center has grown from 100 students to about 400 students and its services realigned to accommodate a growing immigrant population. The center was recognized in 2014 with the Colorado Association of Libraries Jean Maio Award for Excellence in Adult Literacy. Kllanxhja also has helped turn the annual Culture Fest celebration into one of the most popular library events.

“Karen’s proven leadership, her creativity and her energy will be a great asset to the foundation board.  Karen’s contagious passion will be a natural connection to the many individual donors that offer their time and money toward the continued evolution of the library as an important pillar of our community,” said Kevin Bray, president of the Mesa County Public Library Foundation.

Mesa County Libraries Director Joseph Sanchez said, “Karen loves Mesa County and the library.  I am excited to see what she can do for both.”