Posted Nov. 1, 2017
Todd Stephens, M.Ed. ’88 and MLIS ’00, is a county librarian with Spartanburg County Public Libraries. His educational accolades include a Certified Fund Raising Executive credential, meaning Stephens understands not only how to run libraries, but how to help them thrive. Find out how he uses what he learned at the CIC and why he believes in giving back.
What do you do in your current job?
I manage a library system that has 220 employees, 11 facilities and a budget of about $13.5 million. My work is based mainly in fundraising, community relations, planning and legislative affairs. I come from policy development and institutional advancement. I started with the library system as the director of development. I closed out the campaign for the headquarters library and ran five capital campaigns for new branches.
What’s the most interesting or significant thing you’ve done since graduating?
Many things! I have focused on growing the Spartanburg County Public Libraries’ Endowment from $155,000 to close to $2,000,000. I enjoy legislative matters and working with the General Assembly on funding for public libraries. The most crucial thing to me is that the Spartanburg County Public Libraries — as well as public libraries across South Carolina — are changing lives on a daily basis. We are connecting people to the resources they need whether that is information or entertainment. What are you passionate about in your work? I am motivated by the creative strength of the libraries’ staff. Our team is impacting lives.
What did you learn while in school at the CIC that still resonates today?
That librarianship and libraries are critical to a civically healthy community.
Do you have a favorite professor or a favorite memory from your time at the CIC?
I love Pat Feehan. She is an awesome example for many. Stephen Bajjaly taught me that group projects need to have a level of accountability. It’s a lesson I use to this day.
You support the CIC through your membership in the Dean’s Circle Society. Why do you
I believe that investing in the CIC is crucial. Information services is changing at a fast pace, and we need to be prepared to respond to an ever-changing market. My investment in CIC is really an investment in my vocation.
What would you say to someone who is considering joining the Dean’s Circle Society?
There is strength in numbers. The world is complex and we need to work together to improve those things that we hold up as important. Educating, mentoring and influencing the next generation is one of the most important responsibilities we have.