Library District’s Fred James gets financial leadership award

Updated September 10, 2019 - 1:31 pm

The role of government finance officer often goes unnoticed in the news, but in many situations, he or she is the unsung hero of an organization. They serve a critically important role by establishing strong financial policies that help to improve their communities. In times of a crisis, finance officers demonstrate leadership and strength by taking active steps for recovery and renewal to move their government and community forward.

To recognize this, the Government Finance Officers Association created the GFOA Hero Award in 2019. This award spotlights financial leaders from across the country who have demonstrated exceptional action during a time of financial, natural or human-made crisis.

“The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is pleased to announce that the District’s deputy director and chief financial officer Fred James was one of the inaugural winners of the GFOA Hero Award,” said Dr. Ron Heezen, executive director of the Library District. “This award is in recognition of his exceptional skill at managing the Library District’s finances during the economic downturn of 2008.”

Heezen said James used budget management strategies to ensure library services remained accessible seven days a week, providing continued free access to educational, employment and entertainment programming across 25 branches throughout urban and rural Clark County. This also gave Southern Nevadans the critical access they needed to computers, resume services and job skill training that helped many get back on their feet. He was also instrumental in launching a capital campaign strategy that resulted in the construction of new library buildings in Mesquite, which opened in May, 2018; and East Las Vegas, which opened in April, 2019.

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is an independent taxing entity that serves a diverse community across 8,000 square miles. Through its 25 branches and website, the Library District offers a collection of 2.8 million items consisting of books, movies, music (including streaming and downloadable), online resources, as well as free programs for all ages.

The Library District is a vibrant and vital member of the community offering limitless learning; business and career advancement; government and social services support; and a place where customers find a sense of culture and community. For more information, visit

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