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Eamon Shelton, BPL's Director of Operations, Will Discuss Library Renovation Plans at FOSEL's Annual Members Meeting and 2019 Board Election on Tuesday, February 5, at 6:30 PM

Next Tuesday, the Friends of the South End Library (FOSEL) will have its Annual Members Meeting where you can elect our proposed slate of directors, get updates on our financial status, programming and renovation plans. Eamon Shelton, the Director of Operations at the Boston Public Library. will be at the meeting to discuss renovation plans for the branch and answer any questions you might have. This is also the time when you can propose yourself as an advisor to the FOSEL board and/or sign up for any of its programs.

Our proposed 2019 slate of voting-board directors this year is made up of current officers for the second of their two-year terms, most current directors and one new candidate. Officers serve two-year terms; directors one year. The candidates are: Marleen Nienhuis (President); Barbara Sommerfeld (treasurer); Kim Clark (clerk); Marilyn Davillier; Gary Bailey; Duncan Will; and Jennifer Watson (new).

Our proposed 2019 advisory board includes many of the 2018 advisory board members: Anne Smart, Don Haber, Jacqueline McRath, Stephen Fox, Liane Crawford, Susanna Coit, Michael Cox, Michelle Laboy, Gail Ide and Nick Altschuller. Maura Harrington and Licia Sky asked to move from the 2018 voting to the 2019 advisory board due to increased commitments in their professional lives. In addition, Reinhold Mahler has agreed to join as a new advisor. Two wonderful 2018 advisory board members, Karen Watson and Ed Hostetter have moved out of state and are directing their generous volunteer efforts elsewhere. We thank them for their important contributions. Jon Santiago, who served on the FOSEL advisory board for three years, was counseled by legislative advisors to step down from all boards now that he is a newly elected State Representative (replacing Byron Rushing). We thank Jon for his advocacy and volunteering, and wish him the best.

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Here are brief descriptions of the proposed candidates:

Barbara Sommerfeld has been a meticulous treasurer for eight years, patiently and graciously processing innumerable contributions for both capital and membership campaigns by FOSEL. She is an active and devoted South End library user who is always ready to volunteer in any FOSEL project.

Kim Clark has organized board meetings, kept track of by-laws and written crisp and accurate board minutes. She has enthusiastically introduced numerous speakers for South End Writes, and recruited wonderful speakers (Mel King, Byron Rushing, Melinda Lopez). She is a longtime South End library user.

Marilyn Davillier, a therapist, is an active contributor to numerous FOSEL ventures, including the South End Writes program and the Holiday Party, and has made excellent recommendations for past and future speakers on the subject of children’s developmental psychology. She and her husband, Ed Tronick, a renowned child psychologist at UMass, hope to create a seminar series at the library for families of young children. 

Gary Bailey is a Professor of Practice at Simmons School of Social Work, very active in and connected to a range of neighborhood associations, and interested in the role the South End library can play in the lives of homeless patrons.

Duncan Will’s background is in secondary education. He is a member of the Local/Focus group, taking apart old displays and installing new ones. He works closely with Reinhold Mahler in this program.

Jennifer Watson. contacted FOSEL in 2018 and has taken on FOSEL’s newest program, the Award-winning Books Window. She was in charge of the first display, the 2018 Massachusetts Book Awards. She is now planning the second display, the Edgar Awards for Crime Fiction. She works as an executive’s chief of staff at the Boston Medical Center.

Anne Smart is the head librarian of the South End library is an invaluable member of FOSEL advisory board, especially in light of the library’s renovation projects.

Maura Harrington was the FOSEL Capital Campaign’s invaluable co-chair, a generous volunteer for Local/Focus and the Holiday Party, and will continue to be devoted to the branch’s well-being.

Licia Sky, a poet, composer and playwright, hopes to organize poetry slams at the branch, and aan evening of local folk music.

Don Haber, as co-president of the Jamaica Plain branch library, is an invaluable sounding board and source of information about library renovations and BPL developments.

Jacqueline McRath has been a loyal volunteer at FOSEL events, and has a wealth of knowledge about fiber artists, writers and poets in the South End community.

Stephen Fox, as chair of the South End Forum and the Rutland Square Association, has been a vocal and important advocate for the South End library and Library Park with our elected city representatives and appointed heads of city agencies.

Liane Crawford has made great recommendations for the Local/Focus window and has been very helpful in our fundraising efforts.

Susanna Coit is a trained archivist at the Perkins School for the Blind. She is very excited to continue as an advisor as the library is going through its renovation process and has kept FOSEL abreast of new information about libraries.

Michael Cox has recruited a number of speakers for South End Writes and is an active volunteer who distributes posters and flyers for our events throughout the neighborhood.

Michelle Laboy’s contribution to FOSEL as an architect helping us to envision a welcoming and beautifully renovated South End library has been inspiring and gratifying. She has participated in numerous meetings with the BPL’s executive and project teams to advance the renovation plans. 

Gail Ide is a library abutter who has been a longtime South End library and Library Park advocate.  She will continue to work  on the redesign and planting plans for Library Park.

Nick Altschuller has made very nice recommendations of authors for South End Writes and compiled a wonderfully curated set of crime fiction titles for our January Local/Focus mystery window, centered on Boston writers and/or fiction set in the Boston area. 

Reinhold Mahler is also an abutter to the library and has a background in architecture. He has made fantastic contributions to the formatting and design of the Local/Focus windows in the past year. The installations have never looked better and Reinhold is delighted to do more of the same in 2019. 

 Marleen Nienhuis founded FOSEL in 2007. After leaving the voting board in 2010 and returning in 2014, her current term will end next year. A 2019 nominating group will focus on expanding/renewing FOSEL’s leadership for the 2020 terms.