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Blackwater Regional Library names new director

The Blackwater Regional Library’s Board of Trustees has named Ben Neal to serve as the regional system’s library director effective Jan. 1.

Neal received his Master of Library Science in 2011 from Indiana University Bloomington and has experience in various levels of library service, which has led him to his new role as library director.

The Board of Trustees began the search for a new library director in December 2019. After a review of applicants from across the nation, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to hire Neal to fill the role of library director.

Prior to Neal’s current position as Librarian II for the City of Portsmouth’s Main Library, he served as manager of the Smithfield Branch of Blackwater Regional Library and has held other key positions in public libraries in Tennessee and South Carolina.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity and trust afforded by our Board of Trustees,” Neal stated in a press release. “I look forward to working with our wonderful and talented staff, as well as our partners in the community, to make sure Blackwater Regional Library continues to be an integral and central part of our communities. I know our communities well and care about them a great deal, and will work tirelessly to make sure Blackwater Regional Library is community-focused at its core.”

The Board of Trustees is delighted to add Mr. Neal to Blackwater Regional Library’s team of dedicated staff, and look forward to building upon the library’s current foundation to continue Blackwater Regional Library’s tradition of exceptional service.

The Blackwater Regional Library serves Isle of Wight, Southampton, Surry and Sussex counties and the city of Franklin.