Years of residency: 5
Occupation: Writer / Journalist / Fundraiser
Community service/volunteer work:
- Friends of the Bethlehem Public Library
- Chabad House of Delmar
- Channel Albany community media, Vice Chairman (2017)
- The Jewish View public access TV show, co-host (2007 – present)
- American Italian Heritage Museum and Cultural Center
- Congregation Beth Abraham-Jacob, Board member (1995 – 2005)
- UAlbany Alumni Association, Class Councillor
What do you consider your most meaningful career accomplishment? My most meaningful career accomplishment is informing people about what the mainstream media is not writing about. I have always said teachers (including library personnel) and nurses are the most underpaid and underappreciated members of the workforce and I tell that story every chance I get.
What skills do you bring to your tenure on the board? Successful fundraising history, excellent writing skills, out-of-the-box thinking, working well with coworkers and respecting the views of other board members. Having a measured demeanor is also an important skill I have as a mechanism to convince others to see a point of view that might not be their own.
What are your goals as a library board member? To act in the best interests of the residents of the library district. We need to celebrate our past, honor our present and prepare for the future. 2022 is the golden anniversary of the library building. We need to use this milestone as a catalyst to create new aspects of our wonderful library.
How does a public library best serve its community? By aggressively reaching out to the most vulnerable and needy segments of our library district. By offering the youngsters in our library community the technology and resources that they value the most. By seriously listening to what our constituents are saying their needs are and making those requests happen.
What are the most important issues facing public libraries today? There is never enough money to fulfill all the requests made by the residents of our library district. Through the non-profit arm of the library, The Friends of The Bethlehem Public Library need to improve their fundraising efforts so the library district can flourish beyond the great efforts being made today.
How are public libraries changing? How can a library board expedite these changes? Public libraries are constantly evolving with the times. To remain relevant in people’s lives we must listen and respond accordingly to each request so our residents know they are being heard. Customer service is the key to remaining relevant and change with the times.
How have libraries influenced your life? Libraries influenced my life as a wonderful learning extension from school. Growing up I had a full edition of the World Book Encyclopedia at home as a reference for homework assignments but the commaraderie and friendships developed at my local library was immeasureable to receiving a complete, well-rounded education.
What do you like best about Bethlehem Public Library? This is a tough question to answer in 50 words or less. There are so many wonderful aspects to the library. The best aspect of the library is the employees. They are friendly, courteous, always willing to go the extra mile for a patron and make you feel like you belong and are always welcome.
What is your vision for the future of this library? The population of the town has increased by two-thirds since the current library was opened in 1972. Many residents currently live in areas once graced by farms and are now housing developments. We need to do better outreach to all those served by the library board. I will make sure that happens.