Tuesday, April 23, 2024

WRL Director Named One of Top 50 Women Leaders of Virginia

Williamsburg Regional Library Director Betsy Fowler was recognized as one of the top 50 women leaders in Virginia in 2023. (Williamsburg Regional Library)

WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg Regional Library (WRL) Director Betsy Fowler was recognized in the Women We Admire Top 50 Women Leaders of Virginia for 2023.

Fowler was recognized for her innovative and collaborative approach to library leadership spanning a four-decade career in public libraries, according to a WRL press release.

According to its website, Women We Admire provides news and information on women leaders in the fields of business, entertainment, sports, motherhood, medicine, law, and others, covering a broad range of topics. Content is circulated to over 32,000 individuals and businesses. It compiles top 50 lists for each state.

 “I am honored to be selected for this year’s list of Top 50 Women Leaders of Virginia,” Fowler said. “This recognition reflects the work of many people including the amazing library staff, dedicated volunteers, many library supporters, and the strong support of local government leaders. Everything wonderful that happens in a public library is the result of collaboration and the combined efforts of many people working together to serve our community.”

According to WRL, since arriving in 2017, Fowler has been instrumental to the design and creation of the Kiwanis Kids Idea Studio at the James City County Library, helped oversee a collaboration with William & Mary Libraries to establish a cooperative model for college and public libraries, and spearheaded several award-winning community initiatives including a mobile hotspot program during the pandemic.

Previously, as director of libraries for the City of Chesapeake, she obtained a Congressional Earmark and Department of Labor Grant to establish a Workforce Development Initiative for Hampton Roads during the 2008-2012 recession, WRL said, and in 2012 she was selected by the U.S. Department of State as a Visiting Professional to work with Greek libraries to assist with the country’s economic challenges.

Fowler has received several honors, including the Virginia Public Relations Award for marketing public libraries, the Chesapeake City Manager Award, and the Virginia Library Staff Person of the Year Award.

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