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Raymond Santiago - Director

Miami-Dade Public Library System

In 1998, Raymond Santiago was appointed director of the Miami-Dade Public Library System. He was selected following a national search and became the first Hispanic American to serve as the System's director.

As director, he is responsible for a County department with more than 700 employees, and 43 facilities which serve more than 2.5 million residents. During his tenure, the Library System's annual budget has grown from $29 million to its current $82 million.

In addition, an aggressive eight year capital expansion program which will result in the opening of 18 new facilities has been implemented. Mr. Santiago has emphasized staff development through aggressive training programs for all staff, as well as creating trainee and intern classifications for full-time employees working towards their Masters in Library Science degrees.

In recognition of his accomplishments, the Library Journal named Mr. Santiago Librarian of the Year in 2003.

Mr. Santiago had previously served as an assistant director responsible for system wide collection development; Main Library operations; and the implementation of the Library's multi-million dollar automated system.

Mr. Santiago has served as an adjunct faculty member of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida where he has taught courses in library administration, public libraries, and collection development. Mr. Santiago serves as chair of the board of directors of the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET), a member organization of over 1,850 libraries from throughout the southeastern United States.

He is a past president and current member of the executive board of the Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN), a consortium of 30 public, academic and special libraries, and a member of the executive board of the Urban Libraries Council. Mr. Santiago currently serves on the American Library Association's Budget Analysis and Review Committee and is a past member of the Executive Board of the Public Library Association.

Over the past 30 years, Mr. Santiago has held a number of administrative and public service positions in a variety of library settings. His public library experience includes tenures with the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library (1983-90), the Pasco County (Florida) Library (1983), and the Chicago Public Library System (1976). Mr. Santiago's academic library experience includes positions with this Rochester Institute of Technology (1972-76), and World University in Puerto Rico (1976-83). 

Mr. Santiago received his Master of Library Science degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

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