The Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library Nominating Committee has selected a slate of candidates to serve on the board of FTPML. Members will have a chance to vote on the slate at the upcoming annual membership meeting on Monday March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the library’s children’s room. If you think you would like to throw your hat in the ring, nominations will be taken from the floor.

There are three currently serving members whose terms expire this year—Walter Mulbry, Anand Parikh, and Claudine Schweber—and who are running for re-election. Four members of our community—Gina Lambright, Ruth Polk, Cathy Surace, and Wendy Turman—have agreed to stand for the four remaining seats.

The candidates were asked to say a few words about themselves or to submit a brief bio, which you can read below. We look forward to seeing many of you at the annual meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 25. Bob Mondello, film critic for NPR, will be our featured speaker. (Find out more in our spring newsletter.)

Walter Mulbry—Treasurer

My wife and I have lived in Takoma Park since 1984 (!). My daughters grew up helping organize the children’s books at the book sales. I have been the treasurer since 2015, and spearhead the construction and installation of the FTPML-sponsored Little Free Libraries throughout our community.

Anand Parikh—Incumbent At-large, Two-year Term

Anand Parikh has lived in Takoma Park since 2003 and suspects that over the years his per capita Takoma Park Municipal Library book check-out rate might make him a One-Percenter :-). Anand has served on the FTPML Board for the last two years, pitching in on expanding the reach of the Library’s and FTPML’s programs. He looks forward to continuing to contribute to the great offerings provided to the Takoma community by the Friends and library staff.

Claudine Schweber—Incumbent At-large, Two-year Term

Claudine Schweber has lived in Takoma Park for more than two decades. Her commitment (addiction?) to libraries began as a child, when there was no money for books and the library was a second home.  Naturally, when she moved to Takoma Park, Claudine got a library card as soon as she unpacked! She became a college professor in Buffalo, New York (criminal justice) and in Maryland (leadership, change). She has been a mediator, worked at the Better Business Bureau mediation/arbitration division, and teaches conflict management. Being reelected to the FTPML board would be an honor.

Gina Lambright—At-large, Two-year Term

Gina Lambright has lived in Takoma Park since 2009 with her husband, Chip Somodevilla, and two kids, Eloisa (12) and Archer (9) and is an active member of two book clubs, including a mother-daughter book club. She enjoys running, baking, traveling, and reading. Her favorite book from 2018 was Florida by Lauren Groff.

Gina is a Professorial Lecturer at American University’s School of International Service and serves as Program Director for the Comparative and Regional Studies Program. She earned her PhD in Political Science at Michigan State University and her BA in Government from the University of Texas. Her research explores political reform, the functioning of formal and informal institutions, and the influence of society of service provision in sub-Saharan Africa.  She is also the author of Decentralization in Uganda: Explaining Successes and Failures in Local Governance (First Forum Press) and her work appears in Development Policy Review, Comparative Political Studies, Democratization, African Affairs, and Party Politics.

Wendy Turman—At-large, Two-year Term

I have a BA in History from University of California, Santa Cruz, an MA in Museum Studies from GWU and have worked in a variety of museum settings. My work at the Jewish Historical Society in DC for the last 18 years has included collecting, caring for, and interpreting objects, photographs, and documents related to local history and preserving a 19th-century historic landmark synagogue. My family has lived in Takoma Park for the last 20 years in a house on Jackson Avenue which briefly served as the first home of the Takoma Park library in the 1930s – a fact that has always made me feel a special affinity for our city’s treasured public library.  I would be honored to serve on the board and help in supporting the library’s work in our community.

Ruth Polk—At-large, One-year Term

As a library lover, I see libraries as a haven and a place that is shaped by the community it serves. Takoma Park Library, as an independent entity, does a wonderful job reflecting and meeting the needs of the city. Since 2002, when my family and I moved here, we have enjoyed many programs including parent/tot, SummerQuest, Spring for Poetry, and author talks. We also appreciate having a library within walking distance of our house. At the Audubon Naturalist Society, I teach children and parents about the natural world. As the Temple Sinai librarian I work with congregants, clergy, and a robust volunteer committee to further the needs of that community.

Cathy Surace—At-large, One-year Term

I have been a Takoma Park resident since 1981.  I am an avid reader and a regular user of the Takoma Park Library. I have also volunteered at many of the FTPML book sales.  I am now retired from a career as an attorney representing people with disabilities at a Maryland non-profit, and would like to support the library.


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