Years of residency: 32
Occupation: Communications Manager, New York State Health Insurance Program
Community service/volunteer work: I have served on the BPL Board as a trustee for the past five years and have also been the liaison for BPL on the Upper Hudson Library System Board during this time. I am a past member of the Junior League of Albany, where I served in several Board positions, including President. While my children were in school, I volunteered with both the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts as well as numerous school and club sports teams.
Other details you would like to share: I have been married for 32 years to Steve Scoons and we have two children, Kaitlyn (who is an 8th grade English teacher in the Bronx) and Cameron (who just completed his second year at Northeastern University). We have lived in our home for nearly 25 years and its proximity to the Library was an important selling point for us.
What do you consider your most meaningful career accomplishment? In my previous position as Director of Public Information at the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board, I worked on a large scale project that digitized claimant case folders. The project greatly improved efficiency of the system and ultimately helped to deliver workers’ compensation benefits to injured workers more timely.
What skills do you bring to your tenure on the board? I bring skills to the board that have been developed in both my paid and volunteer work.I know how to build consensus and work cooperatively with people to develop solutions that meet stakeholder needs. Having spent most of my career in the field of communications, I am an excellent listener and clear communicator.
What are your goals as a library board member? My goal is to represent community needs to ensure the library continues be a welcoming place with the resources and opportunities that serve patrons and taxpayers now and in the future. I also want to look for opportunities to strengthen partnerships with our schools to develop lifelong library patrons.
How does a public library best serve its community? A library best serves its community by being responsive to changing needs, staying abreast of library and societal issues that have potential to impact it and planning for its future viability.
What are the most important issues facing public libraries today? Ensuring that the next generation understands the importance of public libraries in our communities as a catalyst for public discourse and lifelong learning in a world that is increasing reliant upon the internet for information.
How are public libraries changing? How can a library board expedite these changes? Public libraries have become more than a repository of books and other resources that can be borrowed. A board helps expedite changes by monitoring trends and developing a strategic plan for growth with input from patrons and taxpayers.
How have libraries influenced your life? I am a lifelong library patron, having been exposed to weekly trips as a young child. These experiences seeded my love of learning and I have passed this on to my children.It also ultimately led to my interest in running for the BPL Board five years ago.
What do you like best about Bethlehem Public Library? The staff, resources and community support make Bethlehem Public Library an important hub in our community and in the Capital District. The top-notch access to books and other resources as well as the creative programming and welcoming space are my favorite features of the library.
What is your vision for the future of this library? Through creative leadership, dedicated staff and strong community support, I know Bethlehem Public Library will continue to serve the needs of our community well into the future, regardless of what challenges arise. It will continue to be an important hub for learning, information and community connection.