Library's board president passes away

cheathamThe Atlantic City Free Public Library is saddened to announce that longtime Library Board of Trustees President William K. Cheatham passed away in late June.
He was appointed to the board in 2005 and became board president in 2008, a role in which he served until his death. While board president, the library experienced tremendous growth and many accomplishments that benefited the Atlantic City community:
  • Built and opened the new Richmond Branch Library
  • Opened the Atlantic City Experience at Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall, and the Learning Center for Computer Literacy, Education and Career Advancement, Teen Space and Makerspace at the Main Library
  • Assumed operation of the Atlantic City Historical Museum
  • Introduced Career Connections, Communications Skills for 21st Century, Fresh Start @ Your Library and Fade to Books programs
  • Offered new events such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read-in, Atlantic City Library Family Fun Festival, International Night Concert Series and Third Thursday Concert Series while seeing long-running programs such as English as a Second Language (ESL), Kwanzaa celebration and Summer Reading Program grow in popularity
“Mr. Cheatham cared so much about the City,” Library Director Robert Rynkiewicz said. “He never stopped being an advocate for improving this city and was very much a father figure in the city. The library presented many innovative programs and new services during his appointment as President of the Board of Trustees. His dream was to have a library branch in the Inlet section of the City. Perhaps one day his dream will come true.”
In addition to his work as the Library’s Board of Trustees president, Cheatham served many other organizations, including Big Brothers Association, United Way of Atlantic County and Atlantic County Board of Public Transportation, Municipal Utilities Authority Board, CRDA and Atlantic City Shade Tree Committee.
cheatham3In November 2019, the City of Atlantic City recognized him for his dedication to the city by officially designating the corner of Atlantic and Maryland avenues “William K. Cheatham’s Block” during a special ceremony. He spent much of his adult life as a resident of that block, living there more than 50 years.
“They used to call me the Mayor of Maryland Avenue way back, because I’d get out here and ask questions about whatever went on in the block,” he said on the day of the ceremony.
Mayor Marty Small Sr. and members of City Council praised Cheatham and what he meant to the city that day.
“This is a great day in the City of Atlantic City, as Mr. Cheatham is someone who blazed the trail for so many,” Small said. “He has fought hard for the little people, and no one can question his love for the City of Atlantic City.”