Insight News

Feb 13th

County Commissioners appoint two, reappoint one to Hennepin County Library Board

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cahillThe Hennepin County Board of Commissioners appointed Caitlin Cahill of Plymouth and Gary Thaden of Minneapolis, and reappointed Claudia Kelly of Medina to the Library Board on March 2. Their terms end on December 31, 2012.

Cahill and Thaden are replacing Cynthia Steinke, whose term ended December 9, 2009, and David Pratt, whose term ended December 9, 2009 and who passed away last month.

claudiakellyCahill is a technology integration specialist with the Orono School District, Thaden is an attorney with Pettersen & Associates, Inc., and Kelly is a playwright and aspiring novelist.

"Community members from Hennepin County contribute time, expertise and knowledge to serve on the Library Board," said Lois Langer Thompson, Hennepin County Library director. "I would like to thank outgoing member Cynthia Steinke for her years of service to Hennepin County Library. On behalf of the Library Board, staff and residents, I welcome two new members — Caitlin Cahill and Gary Thaden — and Claudia Kelly, who was reappointed for her second term, and look forward to working together to ensure our citizens continue to have access to excellent, responsive, forward-thinking library service."

Claudia Kelly was first appointed to the Library Board in 2007 and is the vice president. She is a lifelong resident of Hennepin County who has vivid memories of frequent visits to her childhood libraries — the Hennepin County Library in the Glen Lake Elementary School in Minnetonka and the old Minnetonka Library in a storefront on Minnetonka Blvd. and Highway 101.

Kelly, whose first play was produced last summer at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, is working on her first novel. In addition to her Library Board volunteer work, she is a disaster relief volunteer with the American Red Cross.

Kelly says she is a longtime library supporter who is especially "passionate about our virtual library [] -- from BookSpace to all of the research stuff available."

In addition to her work with the Orono School District, Caitlin Cahill is a professional photographer and web developer, with her own digital imaging business named Peregrine Imaging. She graduated from George Washington University, majoring in international affairs and Chinese language, and volunteers for SkillsUSA Minnesota, a career and technical education organization for high school and college students.

"Some of my earliest (and fondest) memories are of visits to Hennepin County libraries; to this day, the library is my sanctuary," Cahill said. "I am looking forward to giving back to the libraries that have given me more than I could ever repay, and I look forward to serving my community."

Gary Thaden earned his law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and at Pettersen & Associates, Inc., is government affairs director for two construction trade organizations. A former member of the Minneapolis Library Board, he is a member of the American Library Association and is currently serving on the Walker Library Community Advisory Committee and the board of directors of the Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota libraries.

He writes a monthly column on libraries for two neighborhood newspapers in Minneapolis, The Wedge and Hill and Lake Press.

Thaden has extensive experience serving on boards of directors, currently also serving on the boards of the Labor/Management Health Care Coalition of the Upper Midwest, Twin Cities Pipe Trade Health & Welfare Trust, Gopher State One Call, the Construction Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, and the Minnesota Workers' Compensation Advisory Council.

"I enjoy serving on boards and taking disparate sources of knowledge and forming good policy for the organization," Thaden wrote in his Library Board application.

Among his other interests, Thaden is president of Norwegian Explorers, the local Sherlock Holmes literary society.

"I am very excited to join the Library Board and to work with the Hennepin County Library staff," Thaden said. "My service on non-profit boards, my love of books and knowledge, and my willingness to serve the public will help me as we all work towards bringing even better library service to residents of Hennepin County."

The Library Board is a citizen advisory board that reviews budgets and establishes management and service policies governing the library system. Library Board members appointed by the County Board serve three-year terms and meet monthly at a Hennepin County library.

Other current Library Board members are Brandi Brown, John Gibbs, Holly Guncheon, Sandy Johnson, Jill Joseph, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco (secretary), and Therese VanBlarcom (president).

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