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Roanoke Free Press
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

River Laker resigns post at Roanoke Public Library

River Laker

River Laker Statement: “It is with a degree of sadness that I announce my resignation as Resource Development Coordinator at Roanoke Public Libraries, effective September 24, 2012.

In the words of Thoreau, “It seemed to me that I had several more lives to live.” And so, I am moving on.

The past 5 years have been a thrilling experience transforming how the public interacts with a traditional brick and mortar entity by reinventing identity, brand, activity, value and relevance.

We have created, developed and marketed accessible, engaging, substantial and popular cultural and “quality of life” happenings that have received public and professional acclaim.We have utilized social media, traditional media and grassroots methodologies to achieve cultural promotion and have expanded the influence of Roanoke Public Libraries by creating multi-industry and cross-industry project driven ollaborations.

It has been a particular pleasure working with Sheila Umberger, Director of Roanoke Public Libraries, a phenomenal leader.

I wish the best to Roanoke Public Libraries and all the staff within. And a big shout out to the citizens of Roanoke, who have embraced the changes within Roanoke Public Libraries and truly recognized that our library system is one of the best!”

Laker’s striptease act at 202 Market in downtown Roanoke in February 2011 brought the nightspot an ABC fine and caused Roanoke City Libraries heartburn. Laker later challenged a reprimand by libraries director Sheila Umberger in January in court saying he had been relegated to a more subdued role at the library. The reprimand was said to be a result of Laker posting a video on their website without permission. Laker lost his challenge in court and city manager Chris Morrill did not intervene sighting policy and personnel matter.

By Valerie Garner

Categories: Local Events

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Comments (1)

Eldon Karr

September 13th, 2012 at 4:20 PM    


Seems like to many of our Roanoke family members just can’t deal with “outside the box” creativity.

Picture, if you will, all of the folks in Roanoke who were grabbing hold of River’s coattails – high hat and all – enjoying the ride of their lives.

He may be irreplaceable for quite a while.

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