University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa alumnus Felton Thomas Jr. ('93) is the director of the Cleveland Public Library. Thomas believes that libraries can affect people and make their lives better. He is putting this belief into action transforming the Cleveland Public Library into the “People’s Library” which is a driving force behind a powerful culture of learning that inspires the people of Cleveland, from all walks of life, to continually learn, share and seek out new knowledge.
Thomas knows the positive effects that libraries can have on communities and individuals. He grew up in a tough Las Vegas neighborhood, and the library was a place of solace, learning and employment. Now he is a role model to others in the same situation.
Thomas believes graduates from UH Mānoa have a sense of adventure, resilience and a healthy appetite for taking risks to implement real and positive change. He advises current students to take the time to network, create personal connections and understand that those around you, including professors, are committed to your personal and educational growth.