Library system to get a shorter name

Pop quiz: what is the name of Mecklenburg County's library system?

Stumped? Man-on-the-street interviews show no one knew the full name of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, said director Charles Brown. And the name is so clunky that even some library staffers resort to just using the initials PLCMC.

That'll all change next spring when library officials roll out a new moniker: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library.

It'll be the fourth name of the local system since the first library building opened in 1903. Its current name has been in effect since the mid-1940s.

Brown said he thought the current name was too long and cumbersome. And the name issue also came up when library officials launched a marketing study two-and-a-half years ago.

Brown said the new name will be less of a tongue-twister, but still let officials pay homage to the library system's most prominent community and its major financial backer.

The library board of directors approved the change this summer, and leaders are now ironing out the details of their brand rollout.

They'll need to replace lots of materials with the current name, including library cards, stationary and the signs at library branches, said Frank Blair, director of research, innovation and strategy.

The goal is to let the current stock of materials run out, then place orders using the new name.

A new logo also is in the works.

“It's just a new name for a new century,” Brown said. “We're in the 21st century. We're 105 years old. We just think this is a time for a change.”