Karen Kllanxhja, a seven-year staff member of Mesa County Libraries, has been named Development Director for the library district.
As Development Director, Kllanxhja will lead grant-writing and fundraising activities for the Mesa County Public Library District and will serve as the library’s liaison to the Mesa County Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the Mesa County Libraries.
Kllanxhja has more than 20 years’ experience in nonprofit and governmental program development, management, and fundraising.
For the past seven years, Kllanxhja has served as Head of Literacy Services for Mesa County Libraries. In that role, she was responsible for developing and implementing programs to meet the goals of the library’s Literacy Center. With Kllanxhja at the helm, the Literacy Center has grown from 100 students to approximately 400, its services have been realigned to accommodate an increasing immigrant population, and it was recognized in 2014 with the Colorado Association of Libraries Jean Maio Award for Excellence in Adult Literacy.
In addition, Kllanxhja has helped grow the annual Culture Fest celebration into one of Mesa County Libraries’ popular signature events.
Money raised from individuals, foundations, grants, and other non-district sources is a crucial element of funding for Mesa County Libraries, enabling the library to provide higher-quality services, events, and facilities than would be possible without it. The Development Director coordinates and directs fundraising efforts.
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.”
Kevin Bray, president of the Mesa County Public Library Foundation, said, “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.”
No start date has been determined for Kllanxhja in her new position. A search for a new Head of Literacy Services will begin soon.