J. Dennis Day, director of the Salt Lake City Public Library System, died Thursday, Aug. 3, 1995, after a six-month illness. He was 52.
Day, the 1995 recipient of the Freedom to Read Foundation's Roll of Honor Award, served as library director for 19 years.He took a leave of absence from his position in February for what the library said was a serious medical condition to be "treated with radiation and chemotherapy." No further information about Day's illness was released.
The library's Board of Directors has appointed deputy director Nancy Tessman to serve as acting director until a new director is hired.
While under Day's guidance, the Salt Lake City system experienced one of the largest increases in use of any major city library in the country. In that time, two new branch libraries were built and, more recently, Day developed a capital improvement plan to renovate or expand the city's five branch libraries. A replacement for the current Rose Park Branch is now under construction.
Day was the founder and executive director of the Snowbird Leadership Institute, established in 1990. The institute annually selects the most outstanding young librarians in the country to participate in its unique leadership training program.
Day also served on committees of the American Library Association and the International Federation of Library Associations. He served stints as president of the Mountain Plains Library Association, the Freedom to Read Foundation, the Utah Library Association and the Ohio Library Association.