BOARD of DIRECTORS
J. Joseph Dunaway, Treasurer
Jay Dunaway's involvement with the Library began in 2015 as a volunteer. His backgrounds in accounting, writing and desktop publishing made him an immediate fit for PSL's Accessing the Past.org effort to digitize the Library's archives -- which now has over 3 terabytes of city history available. The satisfaction from such "hands-on history" work resulted in Jay's increased desire to serve the community he has loved for ten years. Being Treasurer has added further satisfaction. "I've never before been committed to the place I've lived; Palm Springs changed all that and the Library's fantastic staff and crucially important missions for literacy, education, equality and youth-opportunity are the primary reasons I deeply value this particular community."
Richard Ellis, Vice-President & Book Sales Chair
Richard Ellis joined the Board thanks to his early exposure to books. “From a very young age I've found reading and libraries provided me with a great deal of enjoyment and comfort in life. I really believe the library to be a center of any community, so volunteering with the Friends just seemed a natural fit for me.” He has served as Book Sales Chair for the past four years. His past work in the retail music and book businesses made helping with our sales efforts "a logical way to help the Friends and our great Library."
I recently retired from a great lifetime career as a Critical Care RN, moving from Santa Ana to beautiful Palm Springs in 2006, with its slower, friendlier pace. Having always sought out libraries for the peaceful energy they provide, when I came to study in the Palm Springs library for the first time, I was enchanted by its openness, the friendly staff and, of course, the delightful koi pond.
In considering the array of Volunteer opportunities that our community offers after retirement, The Friends of the Palm Springs Library stirred my interest – it offers the unique opportunity for further learning while giving back to the community. Because libraries are vitally important in promoting literacy, critical thinking and communication skills while nurturing our creativity and personal development, I look forward to working with the Friends because libraries – more than ever -- remain vitally important in a community’s overall welfare, and I want to contribute to that.
Michael Hirschbein, Events Chair
Michael Hirschbein originally began volunteering at the Library by helping with the children's Summer Reading program, the DVD & CD sales and at special events. He felt that the group of wonderful, caring folks working for the Friends shared his own goals to promote reading, literacy and community involvement. When asked why he wanted to join the Board in 2017, Michael replied: "This will be my first experience on the Board and I'm also looking forward to joining the Events Committee." . . . And join the Events Committee he has -- with gusto! -- by handily landing AMIN CASA, the historic Gloria Swanson residence, for our Annual Meeting.
Michael has lived in Palm Springs since 2012, after retiring as an architect in Los Angeles; he is also on the Palm Springs Planning Commission.
Milt Levinson has been a resident of Palm Springs for 42 years. He previously has served on the Library Board as a member and President. He has also served on the Friends' Board as its President. Milt owned Ramon Pharmacy in Palm Springs and has worked as a Clinical Pharmacist for the Riverside-San Bernardino Indian Health Consortium. He believes that every child needs to have books that they can call their own and, through Rotary International, has placed dictionaries and reading materials into the local elementary schools.
"Volunteering with the Friends is a way to give back to the community. Literacy is my passion. In my travels, I've noted that the viability of a community can be determined by its Library. I am proud of ours -- the Library represents the community's soul."
Christine MacCalla, Board Development
Originally from Pennsylvania, Christine has lived in California for 45 years and came to the desert from the Bay Area eighteen years ago. “In June of 2017, I retired from my School Nurse position with the Palm Springs Unified School District after seventeen years of service. I have always been an avid reader and a bit of a book hoarder. For the last few years, I’ve been volunteering at the Library and at the Animal Shelter in preparation for retirement and, last year, I became a Trustee on the Board of United Cerebral Palsy of the Inland Empire. I live in Palm Springs with my two dogs, Mr. Pickles and Wolfgang Pup.”
Laura Miller, Volunteers
Laura Miller is currently serving as a tireless Volunteer Coordinator for all of our events. "I love the Library and want to help it grow to meet the needs of our changing community. I am an active volunteer -- working at the Friends' Book Sales and on the Membership Committee, at the Mizell Senior Center and with the Neighborhood Safety and Security Committee. I have always been interested in libraries since growing up in L. A. and spending many after-school hours in one."
Nanci Morrison, President
Nanci Morrison has taken on the job of Secretary for the Board, even as she continues to serve on both the Finance and Events Committees. She writes "I have loved books since I was a child and the book-mobile would come every two weeks. Reading is the key to knowledge and being able to read well makes everything in life easier. I would like everyone to benefit from the joys of reading and all the Library has to offer. It is such a delightful place!"
Chris Seidel served as President of the Friends' Board of Directors for four years and now works as a member of the Events Committee. He has an extensive business background in the management of not-for-profit organizations and has been instrumental with the Friends in establishing a formal strategic plan, a strategic communications plan and a web site devoted specifically to the Friends. "I am in favor of anything that can be done to promote reading, learning and literacy; The Friends of the Palm Springs Library does just that!"
Gwen Stackler, Social Media
Gwen Stackler has “chewed and digested” books her entire life and spent the last couple of decades as a Book Critic, Reviewer, Speaker, and Blogger all in the hope of spreading her passion of reading and writing about books to more and more people. One of the highlights of her career so far was speaking at a European Book Festival about how to get teens excited about reading Russian Literature, which I’m sure we can all agree is even a hard sell for most adults. She is never found without a book in her hand or an audiobook in her ear. She joined to help with donations in 2017 and having been a blogger, she will be bringing her experience with Social Media to the Board so that our message and mission can reach more people.
Wanda Turman is not new to libraries; she and her three siblings were the children of a railroad man who lived all over Southern California, from the beach to the Colorado River. After college, she worked for the State of California in different capacities over twenty-five years, spending the final years with the California Department of Corrections in Blythe. She retired to Palm Springs six years ago and has kept busy volunteering for small theater groups and helping the Friends with Book Sales and Library events. "I love the library," she said. "The first thing we would do when moving to a new town was to check in at the library. Then it wasn’t a new town anymore!” She now also assists with book sorting and membership mailings.
Kathy Weyer, Secretary & Membership Chair
Kathy Weyer is a writer, having retired from many different professions including Human Resources Administration, Marriage and Family Counseling and running several non-profit agencies. Her experiences in those roles have given her fodder for writing fiction and some fact-based articles that have run in national magazines.
A native San Diegan, she recently moved to Palm Springs with her husband of 36 years, two black labs named Nick and Nora, and a black cat named Freddie, who is her office mate and is sometimes helpful, but not always, at the keyboard.
She is now our Membership liaison and you can find Kathy at www.kathyweyer.com or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/kathyweyerauthor or here on our website at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or suggestions.