The SWPL Team
“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thank you to all the wonderful people who serve the Pownal community by serving the Solomon Wright Public Library. Thank you for your time, your effort, your love, and your dedication.
Mary received a BFA in painting from UMass Darmouth, and an MAT from the Rhode Island School of Design.
She is a visual artist focusing on oil painting and mixed media drawings. Website: marynatalzia.com
Mary taught public school for 34 years, moving to the area in 1986 to teach art, ceramics and AP studio art at Mt. Anthony Union High School. She also taught at North Bennington Graded School and, for the last 24 years of her career, at Pownal Elementary School. Hergreatest joy of teaching was connecting students with professional artists from all disciplines, facilitating creative problem solving and visual storytelling through developmentally appropriate curriculum. Upon retiring 4 years ago Mary wished to maintain her connection to the wonderful children of Pownal through volunteering and serving on the library board. Since she began volunteering she has offered arts and crafts programs, run the Summer Reading Program with former director Linda Hall, staffed the circulation desk and chaired the renovation committee. Mary is currently serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees and looking forward to continuing to volunteer in our beautiful new library!
At a young age, Karen remembers learning to write her name so she could get a library card from her town library. Thus, began her love of books and reading. When Karen first moved to Pownal, over 32 years ago, one of the first places she visited, along with her three children, was the Solomon Wright Library. She has been a member of Board of Directors for eight years.
Karen spent 35 years in the field of public education in Massachusetts as a teacher, special education administrator, and principal. For the last ten years she has been involved in other areas of public education, and for four years, was the director of the Oak Hill Children’s Center in Pownal.
Karen resides in Pownal with her husband Robert. Together they have three children, Allison, Andrew and Anna.
Sarah worked for over 17 years as librarian at Southern Vermont College, and is now director of the North Adams Public Library. She lives in Pownal with her husband and young daughter, where they like to garden, walk in the woods, and hoot at owls.
Margret has lived in Pownal for almost 40 years, and has been employed equally that long as a Technologist in the SVMC Laboratory. She looks forward to retiring next year and bringing her grandchildren to the new SWPL!
Willy joined the board in 2010 because he loves to read and thinks it's important that small communities have libraries they can attend and support. Willy taught third grade for twenty nine years at Pownal Elementary School. He has hosted shows on WBTN and Cat TV for many years. He is a card carrying member of Actor's Equity Association and member of Old Castle Theatre Company since 1987.
Becca is the newest member of the SWPL Board of Trustees. She holds an Associates Degree from BCC and Bachelors Degree from MCLA in Environmental Studies/Science. Becca works at BPVS Inc., a local solar installation and design company based in North Adams, MA, and lives in Pownal with her husband Brad and their young son Bentley.
Julius Rosenwald is a cantankerous old grump who makes up for his habit of cursing like a sailor with his unwavering support of the Solomon Wright Public Library. He has faithfully served on the Board of Trustees for approximately 150 years and will undoubtedly continue to advocate for the library, and the Pownal community, forever.
Annie joined the SWPL board in 2019. She earned a PhD in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and has taught at area colleges. Currently, she lives on Fairland Farm in Pownal with her family, where she grows lots and lots of flowers, works editing science text books, and raises two rambunctious children.
Jen joined the SWPL team as Library Director in October 2019. She holds a Vermont Certificate of Public Librarianship, and is also a Co-Director of the Stamford Community Library in neighboring Stamford, VT where she lives with her husband and three children.
Ellie came to us as a volunteer in 2020, driven by her love for literature and learning. She is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, but is now exploring a new career in librarianship! She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from MCLA, and an Associate’s degree in Mortuary Science. She lives in North Adams with her fiancé and two spoiled cats. In her spare time you can find her hiking, making art, or reading her favorite author, Michael Crichton.
Holly Dixs’ passion for literature and community engagement led her to us in 2016. Along with volunteering at the Solomon Wright Public Library she holds a volunteer position as the committee chair for our local Cub Scout pack. She is employed as the Director's Assistant and Children’s Librarian at the Martha Canfield Library in Arlington, Vt. In her spare time she enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and gardening. Her all-time favorite author is J.K. Rowling!
Anne Marie Jarvis
Anne Marie grew up in the Boston area and has worked in the Human Resources field at the Peabody Essex Museum and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She moved to Pownal with her family in 2014 and began volunteering at the Solomon Wright Public Library in 2019 as a way to connect to the Pownal community. Currently, Anne Marie is involved in early childhood and preschool education. Making music and story telling are among her favorite things to do.
Julie is a freelance writer who moved from San Francisco to Pownal in 2002 and never looked back. She worked her way through college in the school library and is today a card-carrying member of public libraries in Vermont, Massachusetts and Minnesota. She has been a volunteer at the Solomon Wright Public Library since 2010, as best she can remember as her calendars don't go back further than that. (Her photo shows her on one of the happiest mornings of her life, watching sunrise over the Annapurna Massif in Nepal.)
Concerned about our democracy, Megan Randall became a volunteer in the fall of 2016. Libraries have always fostered democracy in America because they welcome all to the “banquet between minds” that reading and writing can be. A former English teacher, Ms. Randall loves literature and is a voracious reader. She also gardens and keeps bees, and is co-chair of Pownal Proud, a group that seeks to reduce roadside litter and curtail illegal dumping in Pownal.
Doug began volunteering with the Solomon Wright in 2012 to help the library stay open.
After teaching at colleges across the country, Dawn Rodrigues retired to a farmhouse in Pownal, where she lives with her husband and their animals. A former English teacher and educational technology specialist, Dawn was pleased to find a volunteer opportunity that fit her background. She especially enjoys helping patrons use the many free ebooks and audio books available through the library.
Jan Conrad Todorski
Jan moved to Pownal in the summer of 2019 after living for many years in Connecticut. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec and a Master of Arts degree in History from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Jan was a bookseller for many years and loves books, libraries, and learning.