Edwin S. Clay, III.Edwin S. Clay, III

Edwin S. Clay, III has been the director of the Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) since 1982. In this position, he manages all aspects of this 21-branch system, which has a budget of more than $27 million, more than 700 employees, and more than 2.5 million books and materials.

FCPL is the largest public library system in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, as well as the largest in the commonwealth of Virginia. In fiscal year 2002, more than 500,000 Library users checked out more than 12 million items and made five million visits to FCPL branches. Because of its heavy use, a report in the American Libraries journal recognized the Library's excellence by ranking it sixth in the U.S.

Mr. Clay has received numerous honors during his tenure at FCPL. In April 2002, the Virginia Public Library Director's Association named him Outstanding Library Director. In November 2000, Mr. Clay's leadership was recognized with one of Fairfax County, Virginia's top distinctions: a Managerial Excellence Award. In May 1996, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina. Perhaps one of his most auspicious honors includes the scholarship in his name launched by the FCPL Foundation in summer 2002. The Edwin S. Clay, III Scholarship will benefit students pursuing MLS degrees.

Clay is very active in a variety of professional and civic groups. He has been Vice President of Virginians for the Arts and Chairman of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and has served on the National Management and Planning Advisory Committee for the Library of Congress. Clay is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the FCPL Foundation and the Virginia Library Association, and past president of the Virginia Public Library Director's Association. In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member of the Catholic University School of Library & Information Science.

A 1966 graduate of Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, Clay received a fellowship from the University of North Carolina for graduate work in library science. He received his Master of Library Science degree in 1967. He has been the Director of the Virginia Wesleyan College Library, the Director of the Virginia Beach Public Library and Information Office, and an Assistant to the City Manager of Virginia Beach.

Known as "Sam" to his colleagues and friends, he lives in Centreville, Virginia with his wife Debra and their teenage daughter Maggie.