MALF Board of Directors Bids Farewell to Five ‘Friends'

kthanks.jpgJanuary is a time of new beginnings – and not just a new calendar year. For MALF, it marks the start of a new events cycle and the welcoming in of new members to the Board of Directors. Some changes are more bittersweet, however. MALF must also bid a fond farewell to five long-serving and highly productive Board members: Barbi Byers, Edward Fagerlund, Joan B. Larson, Ruth Solie, and Carol Walsh.

Edward Fagerlund spent a long and fruitful career in the fields of economics and finance, and in his tenure with MALF put that invaluable knowledge and experience to use on a weekly basis. As MALF Treasurer and Finance Committee lead, he has effectively served as point person on all budgetary matters for the last several years. In addition, he has been a key contributor to several non-finance process initiatives, including a 2013 retooling of the membership renewal process.

Ruth Solie, retired director of the Northern Lights Library Network, made a name for herself helping to establish Friends groups in school, academic and public libraries across the state. That experience has proved of inestimable value to MALF. Among other responsibilities, Solie has co-organized MALF’s successful summer workshop series, Drafting the Blueprint.

Carol Walsh, communications specialist with the Dept. of Employment and Economic Development, joined the Board in 2005. She has put her invaluable public relations and outreach skills to work as a member of MALF’s communications committee. In her eight years on the Board, she has helped turn MALF into a robust source of Friends of the Library-specific news. She also served a productive term as MALF President, and as the organization’s liaison to National Library Legislative Day (NLLD).

Last but not least, MALF is losing two long-serving Board members who have been leading voices in the organization for the better part of its history.

Among committee assignments simply too numerous to list in full, Barbara Byers served for over a decade as President. She also played a key role in the formative years of the Evy Nordley Award for Best Project by Friends of the Library and in initiating MALF’s programming presence at the annual MLA Conference.

Joan Larson is also a wealth of institutional memory, having been affiliated with MALF in some capacity for over twenty years. Recent achievements include co-planning many of MALF’s highly successful workshops and programs and spearheading MALF’s partnership with United for Libraries on the Literary Landmark series.  

Thank you, all! You will be missed!