Felton Thomas is a UH Manoa Alumnus and Director of Cleveland Public Library
Felton Thomas, an alum of University of Hawaii at Manoa and Director of Cleveland Public Library, strongly believes in how libraries transform lives. With initiatives designed to tackle education, technology and economic development deficits in his community, this belief is being put into action at Cleveland Public Library.
He has made CPL a downtown destination and launched TechCentral, an innovative makerspace where patrons can laser engrave, 3D print and program computers.
Early Life and Education
Thomas was raised in an all-Black community of Savannah, Georgia and attended a segregated Roman Catholic school. In his memoir he recounted experiencing prejudice due to his dark skin tone and Geechee heritage; further praising his teachers for demanding excellence within their classrooms.
He first joined the Supreme Court in 1994, quickly earning a reputation for consistently conservative views. In many landmark constitutional cases, he wrote separate concurring or dissenting opinions that represented his position as most conservative among other sitting justices.
He emphasizes the value of lifelong learning and encouraging our children to follow their passions. Additionally, he advocates civic involvement and stresses reading’s impactful impact in enriching our lives; currently serving on the board of directors at Cleveland Public Library.
As director of Cleveland Public Library, Thomas is upholding Linda Anne Eastman’s pioneering legacy. Under his guidance, Cleveland Public Library has made significant advances in serving its community more effectively.
Thomas became increasingly conservative during President Reagan’s first term and demonstrated an eclectic approach to conservative ideology that fused libertarian and Black nationalist views. This viewpoint led him into conflict with national civil rights leaders who supported affirmative action policies and state-mandated integration programs.
Thomas was widely criticized for not engaging with oral arguments during oral arguments and asking few questions, which demonstrated his disengagement and lack of open-mindedness. Furthermore, Thomas did not appear to read written briefs before casting his vote – something other justices often do in order to ensure they understand fully all aspects of each case before voting on it.
Achievement and Honors
Felton came to UH Manoa for his masters degree in 1992 attracted by its beautiful beaches, weather and stellar volleyball program; but what he gained far more was lifelong friendships, strong sense of community involvement and an understanding that libraries must serve the people as opposed to just books.
Thomas has established CPL as a community deficit fighter by soliciting input and then initiating initiatives that reflect community needs. Furthermore, he has helped reduce budget by millions while maintaining high levels of service while keeping neighborhood branches open.
Since 2012, he has served on PLA’s Board of Directors and chaired multiple standing committees of the organization. Additionally, he has received various awards for his service at Cleveland Public Library.
Thomas has an unwavering belief in libraries as tools for improving lives, and is taking this philosophy to heart as Director of CPL. His vision for CPL is to make it the “People’s Library,” creating an immersive learning and growing experience for people of all ages and backgrounds alike.
He serves on the boards of FRONT International, University Circle Inc., Cleveland Museum of Art and United Way of Greater Cleveland. Jeremy lives with his wife in Shaker Heights with two college-aged daughters who reside nearby.
He thoroughly enjoys attending Broadway shows, visiting art museums and entertaining family and friends. Additionally, he is an avid sports fan who takes great pleasure in watching his team win their games; additionally he was a longtime supporter of the AIDS Foundation of Cleveland’s annual fundraising effort, Rock for Life.
Tom Felton is an outstanding actor who has put in long hours to reach where he is today. Although best known as Draco Malfoy from the Harry Potter franchise, his acting skills extend far beyond this franchise.
He started acting by appearing in commercials for Commercial Union and Barclaycard before making his movie debut with “The Borrowers” in 1997.
In 2001, he won his biggest role yet; that of Draco Malfoy in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and all its sequels. This role propelled his life forward and saw him star in all seven sequels as well.
Since then, he has gone on to star in several films such as Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Apparition, Feed and Ophelia. Additionally, he’s appeared in television series such as Stratton on CW’s The Flash Season 3 as Julian Albert/Alchemy as well as YouTube Premium’s Origin.