Gleniece Robinson will retire from the City of Fort Worth on Sept. 30 after a career that began in 1999 as the public library director. She held that position until she retired from the job in 2017 to become the city’s director of education strategies.
That was new position created to identify a role for the City of Fort Worth in support of public education, specifically grade-level reading, the city said in a news release.
Under Robinson’s leadership, the library conducted its first master plan in 2003, which focused on services.
The plan resulted in a new automation system, new computers for staff and the public and an increase in the materials budget. Other changes included improved marketing of the collection by moving adult popular titles from the basement to the ground floor, which led to an increase in materials borrowed.
The master plan was updated in 2011 using data that focused on customer behaviors. The updated plan also included a look at facilities and recommended smaller community libraries, joint city facilities and locations in shopping centers and malls.
While she directed the library system, new libraries were included in the 2004, 2014 and 2018 bond elections.
The 2004 bond election resulted in the construction of the Northwest Branch. The Golden Triangle Branch and the Reby Cary Youth and Family library, currently under construction, were included in the 2014 bond election. One additional branch library, yet to be designed and constructed, was included in the 2018 bond election.
Using Urban Design Action and Community Development Block Grant funds, the Shamblee branch library was replaced in 2008 to save the Little Tommy Tucker building, a historic landmark.
Among the highlights of her public service career, Robinson listed her work at the Library of Congress and being one of 10 librarians from the United States to join librarians from 30 countries at the Global Libraries Summit in Cape Town, South Africa, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Awards and recognitions include the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Library Association in 2013; being named a Great Women of Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press in 2016; and a Paul Harris Fellow designation by the Fort Worth Rotary Club.
The Gleniece A. Robinson Education Fund was created by the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation in 2017 as she transitioned from library director to director of education strategies.
“The most important thing to me as I retire is the number of lives I have touched, growing them to their fullest potential,” Robinson said as she looked back on her career. “We created a Grow Your Own Program that assisted employees who went on to graduate school or improved their quality of life by taking full advantage of the available resources to assure upward mobility and growth in their careers. Even the fund established by the Library Foundation speaks to improving the quality of lives.”