Bellingham residents Rebecca Craven and Jim McCabe were appointed to the Bellingham Public Library governing board last week by the Bellingham City Council and participated in their first monthly board meeting today. They join J. Robert Gordon, Rachel Myers and Rick Osen on the five-member library governing and policy-setting board.
Rebecca Craven is currently a program director with the non-profit Pipeline Safety Trust and 16-year resident of Bellingham’s southside. She has served in various volunteer roles including with Bellingham Public Schools and on the board for the Brigid Collins Family Services Center. She holds a law degree from University of Oregon School of Law.
Craven said she is a life-long, active library user who also worked to instill a love of reading and libraries in her now-adult children. She works across the street from the Central Library and sees first-hand the constant flow of patrons. “It’s clear that the library system is an integral part of the fabric of the community, as it should be. That role is evidenced not only by the heavy use of the facilities, but by the exceptionally high rate of borrowing.”
She said the heavy use and broad range of demands — such as funding for infrastructure, changing technologies and community needs, desire for more hours and facilities, maintenance challenges for existing facilities, and whether to finance a new Central Library — are going to be continuing challenges for the library. “Bellingham’s library system is fabulous,” she said. “I’d like to help it continue to evolve and meet the challenges it will face in the next several years.”
Jim McCabe is a retired executive with the Chevron Corporation who has been a resident of Bellingham’s Puget Neighborhood for almost 15 years. He has served as a volunteer on many local boards and committees, including serving on and chairing the city’s Transportation Commission, Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and Bellingham Sister Cities. He holds advanced degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois.
McCabe describes himself as a “heavy library user” who visits about twice a week and participates in the library’s monthly Bellingham Reads book group. He has extensive experience in financial and economic analysis as well as city financing and budgets, and said he is interested in serving as a trustee because “Bellingham’s library is one of its best assets. My city experience and analytical skills would be useful in helping the library achieve the objectives set out in the 2013-2017 Library Strategic Plan.”
About the Library Board
The Bellingham Public Library Board of Trustees is the governing body of the library, responsible for establishing library policy and overall direction, overseeing the library’s budget, and representing and advocating for the library to the community. The Library Board is one of the City of Bellingham’s Boards and Commissions. Candidates indicate their interest in serving by applying through the Mayor’s Office. Citizen volunteers are interviewed by the current trustees and the Mayor, and approved by the City Council. Each trustee term is for five years.
Board of Trustees section of Bellingham Public Library website
Rebecca Craven and Jim McCabe application materials in March 13, 2017 City Council packet
J. Robert Gordon, Chair, Bellingham Public Library Board of Trustees
Janice Keller, Communications Manager, Bellingham Public Library
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