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The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners reappointed four Hennepin County residents to the Hennepin County Library Board and appointed one new member on February 11; the County Board reappointed a fifth county resident to the Library Board on March 11.
Rebekah Anderson of Golden Valley, Chris Damsgard of Brooklyn Park, Jill Joseph of Eden Prairie, Kathleen Lamb of Minneapolis and Jane Shanard of Minnetonka were reappointed. Newly appointed to the Library Board is Katherine Blauvelt of Minneapolis, who replaces Wynfred Russell of Brooklyn Park. All six member terms run through Dec. 31, 2016.
“The Library staff and I appreciate the ongoing contributions of Rebekah, Chris, Jill, Kathleen and Jane, whose skills and knowledge help us keep Hennepin County Library positioned as a national leader,” said Library Director Lois Langer Thompson. “We thank Wynfred for his service to our libraries during the past year and welcome Katherine, who was selected from an impressive and diverse group of applicants.”
“Every place I have lived, I have been a frequent user of the public library,” said Blauvelt, who is now a patron of Hennepin County Library – Franklin in Minneapolis. “The library is where I learned how to read, where I watched my first Bugs Bunny cartoon, where I played my first computer game, and where I studied during high school.
“Libraries are one of the few public spaces we have in the community, and they have played a very important role in empowering immigrants, including in my own family history,” she continued. “To have a strong library system, we need passionate advocates out in the community. I want to be part of encouraging strong partnerships with our schools, businesses and community-based groups, so that everyone knows what the library has to offer.”
Blauvelt has worked in community organizing and policy analysis for over a decade. In the past, her roles have included serving as a policy analyst for the Minnesota Budget Project; a community relations coordinator for the Service Employees International Union; and a community organizer for both Ready 4 K and Vote for Children.
Blauvelt holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oberlin College and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.
Among her honors, Blauvelt was selected as a 2008 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans Award recipient by the Minnesota Junior Chamber of Jaycees and as a national 2001 Harry S. Truman Scholar by the Harry S. Truman Foundation.
She has served as a member of the Harry S. Truman Foundation scholar selection panel, the Midtown Phillips Neighborhood Association board, the Summit-University Planning Council board and the Oberlin College Board of Trustees.
The Hennepin County Library Board consists of 11 Hennepin County residents and meets monthly. The next meeting is Wednesday, March 26, 5 p.m., at Hennepin County Library – Ridgedale in Minnetonka.
For more information about the Library Board, go to www.hclib.org. For more information about Hennepin County’s open appointment process for citizen advisory boards, task forces and committees, go to www.hennepin.us.