Cleveland Public Library Welcomes Melaak Rashid to Library Board of Trustees

Cleveland Public Library is pleased to announce the confirmation of Melaak Rashid to the Library Board of Trustees. Rashid was chosen by the Board of Education for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) which governs Cleveland Public Library’s Board of Trustees.  

Melaak Rashid
Melaak Rashid

“On behalf of the Cleveland Public Library Board of Trustees, I’d like to extend a warm welcome Ms. Rashid,” said Maritza Rodriguez, President of the Cleveland Public Library Board of Trustees. “Her commitment to fostering knowledge and community engagement aligns with our mission and we look forward to her valuable contributions to advancing lifelong learning in Cleveland.”

As the Development Director of Smart Development, Rashid focuses on community development, civic engagement, and social service work within the refugee, immigrant, and newcomer communities. With over 10 years’ experience as a nonprofit professional, Rashid has helped to bring in over $30M to minority-led nonprofits and small businesses across Greater Cleveland.  

“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Rashid to the Cleveland Public Library Board,” said Felton Thomas Jr., Executive Director and CEO of Cleveland Public Library.  “Her perspective and commitment will undoubtedly enrich our efforts to foster inclusivity and access for all.”

Rashid received her Bachelor of Liberal Arts in Political Science with a minor in International Politics from Cleveland State University as well as her Master’s in Public Administration and Nonprofit Leadership with certificates in Urban Planning and Nonprofit Management from The Maxine Goodman Levin School of Urban Affairs. She currently serves as a board member for the Cleveland chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and The Young Latino Network and serves as an advisory board member for Cleveland VOTES and Arab Americans of Cleveland.

Rashid took her oath of office at the Library’s April 18th board meeting at noon and replaces John M. Hairston, Jr. who resigned from the board in March 2024. Since his appointment in July 2008, Hairston played a pivotal role in advancing diversity and inclusivity initiatives, notably championing the formation of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, which creates and implements staff diversity policies as well the Library’s first supplier diversity policy.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to John M. Hairston, Jr. for his dedicated service to the Cleveland Public Library,” said Maritza Rodriguez, President of the Cleveland Public Library Board of Trustees. “His leadership has left a lasting impact and will continue to inspire us all to strive for excellence in serving the people of Cleveland.”

Cleveland Public Library was established as a school district library under Ohio law. This law allows the CMSD Board of Education to appoint the Board of Trustees for the Library