Institute Author Panel (May 6)
Click on the images above to learn more about the authors.
Bernard A. Margolis began serving as New York State Librarian and Assistant Commissioner for Libraries in January 2009. Reporting to the Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education, Mr. Margolis administers the New York State Research Library and the Division of Library Development. In partnership with the state’s 73 public and school library systems, the State Library delivers library services to 19.5 million people served by New York’s 7,000 academic, public, school and special libraries.
The New York State Research Library serves as the state’s official Law Library and Medical Library holding over 20 million items in its rich and comprehensive collections. The New York State Library Division of Library Development is responsible for administering a system of state and federal support for libraries of every type. Included is the annual administration of over $98 million in grants and support including $14 million for library construction.
Mr. Margolis came to the State Library from his previous post as President of the Boston Public Library (BPL), Boston, Massachusetts, where he served from 1997 to 2008. The Boston Public Library is the oldest municipal public library in the country, with 27 neighborhood branches.
Mr. Margolis holds a BA in Political Science and an MA in Librarianship, both from the University of Denver. His library experience includes management and executive positions in libraries and library systems in Colorado, Michigan and Massachusetts. Prior to moving to Boston, he served as Director/CEO of the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado Springs from 1988 to 1997.
Mr. Margolis’ service includes a number of positions within the American Library Association including service as an elected member of the governing Council, leadership in the Association of Research Libraries, service as a professional delegate to the White House Conference on Libraries, and service on the boards of library organizations in Massachusetts,Colorado, and Michigan
Dr. Terry Kirchner joined the Westchester Library System as Executive Director in January 2009 and oversees all aspects of the 38-member public library system. His experience in various management positions at public and academic libraries spans more than 25 years.
Previously, Dr. Kirchner served as Director for Access Services at Columbia University Libraries. There, he coordinated and led system-wide interaction between activities across 22 campus libraries, launched effective assessment and marketing programs, conducted ongoing strategic planning and implementation, and expanded the campus-wide interlibrary loan operations. In his prior position at the New York Public Library, Dr. Kirchner managed numerous public service operations, coordinated interlibrary loan operations across its major research centers, and directed the inventory and relocation of over 2 million volumes to an offsite, high-density storage facility.
Skilled in fostering collaborative and cooperative team-based work groups, Dr. Kirchner is certified as an executive coach and earned his doctorate in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. He holds an MBA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Baruch College and an MLS degree from Rutgers University. Dr. Kirchner has actively participated in the American Library Association and the New York Library Association.
President, Communication Services
Libby Post brings a wide range of communications experience, advocacy and political campaign expertise to her clients. Her interest in assisting libraries, health care organizations, advocacy groups and not-for-profits with her marketing, development and public relations expertise led her to starting Communication Services in 1984. 2014 marked the 30th anniversary of the firm.
A political consultant by training, Post uses her political communication skills to help libraries throughout the country wage successful funding campaigns. She developed the 4-part Library Campaign Training Institute which has been the training core for scores of public libraries.
She is a trainer for the United for Libraries Neal-Schuman Citizens Save Libraries program. The two Michigan libraries she worked with in 2013—Clarkston Independence and Salem-South Lyon—were both successful in their funding votes. In 2014, she worked with Stockton Public Library in California and the Public Library of New London both of which are organizing strong campaigns to increase municipal funding.
Her main focus is helping libraries throughout New York State wage successful redistricting efforts, budget votes, funding initiatives and building referendums. 2015 marks her 10th anniversary of working with libraries.
With a current win ratio of over 80%, Post’s victories in the library field are many. Some of the highlights are:
- Saving the Mount Vernon Public Library by waging an aggressive grassroots campaign that restored its $4.35M and kept the Library from closing its doors.
- Creating library districts for Grinnell Public Library (Wappingers Falls), Basloe Public Library (Herkimer), Barker Public Library, Fulton Public Library, Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney Long Lake Public Library, Schuylerville Public Library, and Newfane Public Library.
- Rebranding Saugerties Public Library and then passing a $6.9 million building referendum in May 2008
- Turning around a losing situation in Spring Valley where the Finkelstein Memorial Library lost its budget vote in 2008 and successfully passing the library’s budget in 2009, 2010 and 2011 each time with margins over 70%.
- Rebranding and overwhelmingly passing a $250,000 school district ballot proposition in May 2009 for the Jervis Public Library in Rome, NY with 74% of the vote. Passing another school district ballot in May 2011 for an additional $525,000.
- Passing 414s for the Hudson and Pawling Libraries in November 2009 which stabilized both libraries’ funding bases.
- Rebranding and passing the Mahopac Public Library’s annual budget in June 2011.
- Managing the successful effort to pass a 15% budget increase for the Albany Public Library in July 2011 after working hard to narrowly lose a 25% increase in May of the same year.
She is also a sought after trainer/speaker for libraries and library systems. Post is the go-to trainer for the New York Library Association and many of the state’s library systems on district options, campaign training, branding and marketing, and customer service.
Post holds a Master’s Degree in Political Communications from the University at Albany/SUNY. She is the President of Congregation Ohav Shalom. She lives in Menands, NY with her partner of 19 years, Lynn Dunning-Vaughn, 4 cats and a golden retriever named Bailey.
PO Box 1115, Albany, New York 12201; 518/438-2826; www.commservices.net
Dawn Myers is currently the Director at the Lowville Free Library in Lowville, NY. She began at the Lowville Free Library in 1995 as a volunteer, then Story Hour Lady, then in 2005 was hired to take charge of programming. In 2008 Dawn received her Associate’s degree from Empire State College. In 2014, Dawn took over as Library Director. Along with creating, promoting, and presenting adult and youth programs, Dawn is responsible for day-to-day library operations, staff supervision, community outreach efforts, and strengthening connections to local schools, preschools, and daycare centers.
In addition to the traditional story times and book discussions, you just never know what you will see on the library calendar or in the library. In recent weeks patrons have enjoyed classes in painting, kimono-sewing, essential oils make-and-take, as well as Lego mania, Teens as Teachers Fairy Tale Festival, and no-sew fort workshops. And not all visitors to the library are human; a tortoise, chicken, a chinchilla, and a hedgehog have all visited. Dawn is receptive to new ideas and approaches in working with all ages. In her free time, Dawn can be found crafting. She owns her own business, DM Designs, selling Adirondack pack baskets, jewelry, and paintings. She is passionate about her work in youth services and is always looking for ways to learn new things and develop her skills.
Karen Glass: In addition to being a teacher, grandmother, quilter, paddler, and storyteller, Karen Glass is the director of the Keene Valley Library, a small rural library in the heart of the Adirondacks. She loves to talk about books and finds magic in library work.
I have been the Young Adult Services Specialist at Canton Free Library for over ten years, where I put a great deal of my heart and soul into helping teens and young adults feel supported, accepted, and independent. I am a North Country native, and an enthusiastic supporter of innovative library programming and services.
Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, MLS, cSBA, LEED AP, is a passionate advocate for public libraries because she knows that libraries can change the world. Rebekkah currently serves as the Coordinator for Library Sustainability at the Mid-Hudson Library System (Poughkeepsie, NY) where she daily assists 66 public libraries in the areas of leadership, funding and facilities. Rebekkah is the author of the Handbook for New Public Library Directors in New York State; co-author of the Handbook for Public Library Trustees in New York State and author of the forthcoming book “Sustainable Thinking” from ALA Editions. A founding member of the American Library Association’s Sustainability Roundtable, Rebekkah is proud of her work to help pass the 2015 ALA Resolution on the Importance of Sustainable Libraries. Named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2010, Rebekkah is a frequent national presenter on the topic of leading libraries forward in smart, practical and effective ways.
Lisa Erickson, MLS, is the Communications, Advocacy and Outreach Consultant for the Nioga Library System (Lockport, NY). Presently, Lisa works with local, county and state governments on economic matters; she orchestrates several grant programs (private and public) for both member libraries and the system; she collaborates with system and member library board of trustees in developing financial, strategic and long range plans; she also coordinates the library system continuing education programs and represents the library system at regional activities (Western New York Library Resources Council), state activities (New York Library Association and Library Development) and national activities (American Library Association). She is a member of Zonta International.
Grace Riario, MLIS, MPA, is the Assistant Director and Outreach Coordinator at the Ramapo Catskill Library System (Middletown, NY). Grace develops continuing education opportunities for library trustees, directors, and staff by partnering with other library systems and consultants across New York State. In her role as Outreach Coordinator, Grace collaborates with other non-profit organizations to bring certified programs to libraries for their community members and promotes the best practices to serve the Spanish speaking community members across the State. Grace currently services as the president of the New York Library Association’s Ethic Services Roundtable.