Meryle Leonard — Episode #008

meryle leonard

Meryle Leonard

Zumba Instructor

Meryle A. Leonard is a creative and busy soul! When she is not dancing, she is choreographing, writing or taking photos. Meryle works for Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, coordinating the design, development and evaluation of a centralized delivery of outreach services for the entire system. She also manages a staff that provides services to underserved populations that cannot use the library in a traditional manner.

Prior to coming to Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, she served as the Regional Director of Youth Development for the YWCA of the Central Carolinas.  In this position, she planned, implemented and coordinated programs, funding and services to challenged youth, their family and community.  While managing a staff of twenty-seven, she created opportunities to help students succeed academically, socially and emotionally in school and beyond.  Meryle completed her goal of adding an evaluation system to the learning program to assure children and families received the highest quality service possible. Meryle has over 25 years of experience in the field of education, community engagement and management.

Meryle is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  In 2007 Meryle was selected as a Life Long Access Institute Fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She contributed articles to the American Library Association book, “Librarians as Community Partners: An Outreach Handbook” and “Library Services for Multicultural Patrons: Strategies to Encourage Library Use.” She was the recipient of the North Carolina Library Association, William H. Roberts Public Library Distinguished Service Award.

She was a presenter at the South Carolina Library Association Conference. Meryle served on the Smart Start Outreach and Development Board, Charlotte Mecklenburg School Parent University Curriculum Review Committee, Mooresville Graded School District Parent Advisory Team and the United Way Community Investment Committee. Meryle’s impact goes beyond her community. She has shared best practices for community outreach services throughout our country and she was even recognized for her work with a group of Russian librarians when they came to Charlotte, NC through a State Department Visitor Program. The U.S. Embassy in Moscow shared with The Charlotte Observer, “Their time with our library staff was the highlight of their 3-week visit to public libraries across the U.S. thanks to Meryle’s excellent work and welcoming spirit.”

On a good day, you can catch Meryle on the beach or behind her camera and it is even a better day if she is doing both at the same time! Meryle is married to the biggest New York Yankee fan in the world, Bradley Leonard.  They have two children, Keona Foye and Jay Leonard, not to mention a student of the month grandson, Carter Allen Foye. Meryle is head over heels in love with her Morkie, Nala Boo-Boo.

Episode Notes

  • Meryle talks about the joy being a dance fitness instructor brings
  • She describes her passion for empowering women
  • She discusses having children 19 years apart
  • She talks about her respect and love for her daughter
  • Meryle talks about being a mom, having a full-time job and running a business
  • She describes what it means to compromise a dream
  • She talks about the need to please
  • Meryle describes her journey to stop trying to fix everything

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