York Public Library Welcomes New Board Members

Nov 13, 2020 | News, Shelf Life

York Public Library is pleased to welcome three new members to our Board of Trustees: Will Ethridge, Julie Steedman, and regular York Weekly contributor Dan Bancroft. They join current Trustees Bob Luttman, Shea Adelson, Rick DiDonato, Jen Ring, Barbara Chase, Britton Ryan Garon, Nancy Garrick, Mary Marshall, and Rebecca Valentine.

As a private non-profit organization, York Public Library is governed by its Board of Trustees. While it receives the majority of its funding from the town, the Board maintains autonomy in making decisions about staffing, services, hours, and goals. Taxpayers approve the town allocation, and the Board supplements this with private fundraising to provide a full complement of library services. With a rotating Board of Trustees, the Library seeks to represent the community when guiding its strategic vision from year to year. Here are the new 2020 members:

Will Ethridge credits his love for books to time spent in his grandmother’s library in York Harbor, where he spent summers growing up. After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he built a career in publishing and education, eventually becoming CEO of Pearson Education until retirement in 2013. While his career has provided Will the opportunity to travel around the world, his heart has always been in York. He and his wife, Debby, moved to York Harbor full-time in 2014 and they are active in the community. Will is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Trinity Episcopal Church and Debby serves on the Board of the York Land Trust. Strong supporters of York Public Library, they appeared as speakers in the Library’s popular Book Talk series. They make countless visits to the Library, often accompanied by their three grandchildren.

Books and libraries have been woven into Julie Steedman’s life. At a young age she walked to the public library in Verona, New Jersey, nearly every Saturday, rain or shine. Over the years she has worn many, varied hats including Assistant Librarian at The Center for International Affairs, Harvard University, History teacher at the American School in Manila, Philippines, social worker in the Pain Clinic at the University of Michigan Hospital with many other countries along the way. Julie’s first visit to York was in 1960. After traveling the world and raising a family together, Julie and husband Charles retired in York in 2002. She has helped run the Library’s popular gingerbread house competition and for several years enjoyed working as a volunteer and mentor in the York Elementary schools. Recently, during COVID, she has been reading with a granddaughter twice a week on Zoom!

The Library’s third Board recruit is no stranger to York Weekly readers. Dan Bancroft and his wife Anne moved to York in 2017. Having recently retired after 45 years as a trial lawyer, he is now happily spending more time as a playwright, writing for the York Weekly, and playing with his grandchildren. While he enjoys daily swims at Harbor Beach, he is looking forward to post-COVID times so that he can resume playing squash. His love affair with libraries runs deep. In fact, he may be the only person living in York Harbor who obtained a library card even before applying for a coveted beach permit. In addition to the Library’s Board, Dan currently serves as vice-chair on the Board of Directors of Commonwealth Land Trust, a Massachusetts-based 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to preserving neighborhoods and preventing homelessness.

The Library is beyond pleased to welcome these three talented individuals to our Board of Trustees. If you are interested in learning more about the Library Board of Trustees, give us a call at 207-363-2818 or contact the Board at trustees@yorkpubliclibrary.org

This Shelf Life article originally appeared in the Portsmouth Herald