Ryan Venter

Ryan Venter
Trustee Candidate

Years of residency: 34 years
Occupation:  Associate Athletic Director
Community service/volunteer work:

  • Bethlehem Girls Basketball Club – board member, coach
  • Bethlehem Soccer Club – coach
  • Volunteered at various school and community events

What do you consider your most meaningful career accomplishment?  My most meaningful career accomplishment has been serving in the non-profit sector for 17 years, working in both higher education and a leading community organization (YMCA).

What skills do you bring to your tenure on the board? I have a wide range of experience including budget management, fundraising, volunteer management, program development, and overall non-profit leadership.

What are your goals as a library board member? As a library board member my primary goal is to continue to develop the library as a pillar of the Bethlehem community. I would also like to focus on building more partnerships with other community organizations – the YMCA, Bethlehem Central School District, the Town of Bethlehem, etc.

How does a public library best serve its community? The library best serves its community by diversifying options and offerings to meet the needs of the community. Public libraries should be in tune with the varied interests of the citizens.

What are the most important issues facing public libraries today? Important issues facing public libraries today include the change in usage of the library infrastructure, the need for libraries to market their services to the public in a more effective manner, and the ability to connect to all ages in the community.

How are public libraries changing?  How can a library board expedite these changes? Public libraries have changed so much in recent years as the way community members learn and read has changed drastically. The board should work as ambassadors for the Bethlehem Public Library and should strive to obtain a pulse of the community to help meet the needs of all citizens.

How have libraries influenced your life? As I continue to raise my two daughters in the Town of Bethlehem, the library has been a foundation of our time together as a family. For years, the library was a weekly stop to do puzzles together, to participate in holiday events together, and take out more books then we ever could read in a couple of weeks!

What do you like best about Bethlehem Public Library?  The Bethlehem Public Library has done a great job with the current physical space and continuing to evolve and change that space to meet the needs of the community. The library also provides a tremendous amount of services for families such as passes to local museums, and WiFi access at off-site public locations.

What is your vision for the future of this library? My vision of this library is a physical and virtual space that connects to all members of the Bethlehem community. The Bethlehem library will be viewed as a community partner and will be a way to bring citizens together, both in person at the library, and virtually.

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