New Library Board member Margy O'Neill Ligon

Margy O’Neill-Ligon, former executive director of the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library, now is one of the newest members of the Hennepin County Library Board.

At their March 14 meeting, the Hennepin County Board appointed O’Neill-Ligon and Erin Vrieze-Daniels to fill open positions on the Library Board. Last month, the County Board tapped former Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan and reappointed Katherine Blauvelt and Christopher Damsgard, the board chair. The new members fill positions formerly held by Jane Shanard, Jill Joseph and Kathleen Lamb. The County Board now has filled all open Library Board seats.

In addition to her time with the Friends, O’Neill-Ligon also has directed educational programs at the University of Minnesota and Walker Art Center. She served on the boards of Friends of Libraries USA (now called United for Libraries), the Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota Center for the Book, as well as the board of the Friends of the University of Minnesota Libraries.

During her time leading the Minneapolis Friends organization in the late 1990s, she helped prepare for the successful $140 million referendum to build the Cesar Pelli-designed Central Library. “I was proud to work there six years,” she said. “Preparing for the referendum for the new Central Library was a very exciting time to be at the Friends. It was a transformative moment in my career and an important moment for the city.”

O’Neill-Ligon grew up within walking distance of a Carnegie Library in Seattle. “Throughout my life, I’ve always personally and professionally benefitted from going to the library,” she said. “It’s an institution I value, and I want to give something back.”