2014-2015 Executive Board

The ULC Executive Board provides strategic oversight, industry perspective and vision that guides the continued evolution of the organization.

The ULC Executive Board is comprised of member library directors; trustees of libraries and/or library foundations; and public members who are civic, business, government or philanthropic leaders.

Executive Committee


Karen (kari) e. Glover, Chair

Kari Glover practiced law for over 30 years as a corporate and regulatory lawyer. She was Firm Managing Partner of Preston Gates & Ellis, LLP, then a Seattle based firm of 430 lawyers with 11 offices in Washington, DC, the West Coast and Greater China, and Global Integration Partner of K&L Gates, one of the largest law firms in the world. She has long experience in civic and business leadership. As a volunteer leader with libraries, she served as Trustee of the King County Library System and now serves on the Board of the KCLS Foundation (and is its Immediate Past President). In addition, Ms. Glover is Immediate Past Board Chair of VillageReach, an NGO involved in global health logistics, and serves on the Boards of United Way Worldwide, REI, and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.


matthew k. poland, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect

Matt Poland was appointed Hartford Public Library’s (CT) ninth leader since 1893 and its first Chief Executive Officer in October 2009. Mr. Poland currently is a member and former chairman of the Hartford Board of Education and is a member of the Community Steering Committee of Opportunities Hartford. He serves as Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the Urban Libraries Council, is a board member for Hartford Performs, a Corporator for Hartford Hospital and the iQuilt Partnership, and serves on the leadership committee and policy cabinet of MoveUP!. He is also a member of the American Library Association, the Connecticut Library Association, Leadership Greater Hartford, Society for Human Resources Management, and the Human Resources Association of Central Connecticut. He is a LeadBoston Fellow and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum. Hartford Magazine named him one of Hartford’s Most Influential People in 2013.


Melanie huggins, Immediate Past Chair

Melanie Huggins has been the Executive Director of the Richland Library (SC) since 2009. A noted expert in the areas of strategic planning, collaborations, leadership development and library staffing, she is a frequent speaker and facilitator for other libraries and organizations. At Richland Library, Ms. Huggins has led a new focus for strategic planning, coordinated the first Amnesty Week to remove barriers to library service for everyone in the community and received more than $1 million in grants.


Jan Harder, Secretary/Treasurer

Jan Harder has served the residents of Ottawa as a City Councillor in Ontario for over 14 years. She has served on many Boards and Standing Committees. Currently, she is Chair of the Ottawa Public Library (ON), Vice-Chair of the city’s Planning Committee, member of the Ottawa Police Services Board and a member of the Ottawa Public Board of Health. Councillor Harder is the Former Director of the Canadian Library Association and Former President of the Canadian Library Trustees Association.


Michael Sherrod, Member-at-large

Michael Sherrod, as the Texas Christian University (TCU) William M. Dickey Entrepreneur in Residence, teaches undergraduates and manages an interdisciplinary, faculty based entrepreneurship program. He has been a pioneer in the online world since 1985. Mr. Sherrod has founded/co-founded 10 companies, including Black Dove Media, LLC and DigitalCity.com and has served in senior management roles at AMR Information Services, AOL, Ancestry.com and examiner.com. He recently served as the first Publisher of TexasTribune.org, is Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Umbel.com and sits on the Kinsey Institute Board of Trustees.

Executive Board Members


Ruth Anna

Ruth Anna was appointed to the Board of Trustees for Jefferson County Public Library (CO) in 2001. She is a past Chair of that Board and of the Trustees and Friends Division of the Colorado Association of Libraries. Ms. Anna is CEO of Anna Public Relations, serves on several non-profit boards and on the Colorado Freedom of Information Council. She is passionate about FOI and 1st Amendment issues.


Mary Blankenship pointer

Mary Blankenship Pointer, a Senior Vice President of Republic Bank and Trust, has 36 years of experience in business development, commercial lending and private banking. She is a business leader with valuable connections throughout the state of Oklahoma. Currently, she is the Chair of the Pioneer Library System Board of Trustees (OK). She also actively volunteers in various local civic and nonprofit organizations including working with Mrs. Barbara Bush on children's literacy. Ms. Blankenship Pointer is the Director of the Allied Arts organization as well as the CFO of the Council of International Neonatal Nurses.


Jill Bourne

Jill Bourne is Director of Libraries for the City of San José, California. With a focus on expanding access, partnerships and innovation, she is committed to enhancing the relevance and leveraging the value of public libraries in the communities they serve. Prior to her current appointment, she served as the Deputy City Librarian at the San Francisco Public Library (CA) and Assistant Director for Public Services at The Seattle Public Library (WA). Ms. Bourne was named as a Library Journal "Mover and Shaker" in 2009. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from New York University and a master's in library and information science from the University of Washington.


Rhea Brown Lawson, phd

Rhea Brown Lawson has served as the Executive Director of the Houston Public Library (TX) since 2005. The Houston Public Library (HPL) is the largest public library in the state of Texas, serving over 2.2 million people of diverse backgrounds through a network of 42 locations. Under her leadership HPL has earned over 30 prestigious local, state and national awards for service, innovation and building projects. The system is continuously evolving and moving forward a comprehensive platform of innovative library services and programs to meet the rapidly changing needs of customers and the virtual environment. A strong and passionate advocate for public libraries, Dr. Lawson is keenly focused on ensuring that public libraries remain highly visible and vibrant organizations that provide leadership for, and remain essential to the quality of life in their communities. Dr. Lawson serves on a number of professional and civic boards and committees.


William (Bill) H. Meadows

William H. Meadows served as President of The Wilderness Society from December, 1996 to May 2012. He currently serves as Counselor, a senior program position for The Wilderness Society. Mr. Meadows has been active in conservation for over 40 years. He credits Earth Day, founded by late Senator Gaylord Nelson, as the catalyst for his involvement. As President, he led a staff of 180 with headquarters in Washington, DC and 9 regional offices; he acted as the key spokesperson and advocate for The Wilderness Society’s work on Capitol Hill and across the country. Recognized as a national leader in public land conservation and wilderness preservation, Mr. Meadows has played an important role in the protection of national forest roadless areas, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and America’s national monuments.


Vailey Oehlke

Vailey Oehlke was appointed Director of Multnomah County Library (OR) in the spring of 2009. She began her career in libraries in 1997 as a Youth Librarian in the School Corps program. After six years, she joined the staff of the downtown Central Library, first as a section administrator and then as its Director. She became the library system’s Deputy Director in 2008 and was promoted to Director a year later. A longtime resident of Portland, Ms. Oehlke is pleased to be leading the library that serves the community she loves. She is an active member of the American Library Association’s Digital Content Working Group, the Public Library Association (currently PLA board member) and the Oregon Library Association. 

Gloria Rubio-Cortes

Gloria Rubio-Cortés

Gloria Rubio-Cortés is President of the National Civic League (NCL) and the Executive Editor of NCL's National Civic Review. She has held leadership positions in business, philanthropy and nonprofits over the past 30 years. Ms. Rubio-Cortés specializes in civil rights, community building, civic engagement and social justice issues. She was appointed to the Denver Public Library Commission (CO) and serves on the Board of Mile High United Way.


Gary A. Wasdin

Gary Wasdin was appointed to Library Director of King County Library System (WA) in January 2015. Prior, he was Executive Director of the Omaha Public Library (NE) since January 2010. Mr. Wasdin's previous professional library experience includes The University of Alabama, the New York Public Library, The New School and Wesleyan University.


Ed WilLiams

Ed Williams was appointed to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Board (NC) of Trustees in May 2011, filling a vacancy that opened on the board earlier that year. Mr. Williams was a member of the recently completed Future of the Library Task Force, a 17-member citizen group that spent five months examining the Library and making recommendations for its sustainable future to the Library Board and County Commission. He retired in 2008 as Editorial Page Editor of The Charlotte Observer, where his columns and editorials were part of Observer projects that won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1981 and 1988. In 2003 the Mecklenburg County Bar Association gave him its Liberty Bell Award for his community leadership and "willingness to take tough stands on tough issues." In 2011, he was chosen for membership in the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame.


Rashad Young

Rashad Young was appointed City Administrator for the District of Columbia in December 2014 after serving three years as City Manager of the City of Alexandria (VA). Previously he served as City Manager of the City of Greensboro (NC) for two years. He also served as City Manager of the City of Dayton for three years and as Co-Chair of Dayton’s Downtown Strategic Planning Task Force. Mr. Young led the creation of a gun violence reduction program in partnership with business and civic leadership and state and federal law enforcement agencies for the City of Dayton and spearheaded the creation of the City of Cincinnati’s Small Business Division and Contract Compliance program.