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EGR Friends  

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors are a hard working group of community volunteers who oversee Friends' projects, programs, and budgets.  You don't have to be a board member to contribute to enriching the library - volunteers of all ages are welcome. 

Get to know our board members below.

Erik Daly


I became involved in the Friends of the Library because I believe that libraries are essential to providing access to information, learning opportunities and a sense of community.  Some of my favorite memories from childhood are visiting libraries with my grandmother, who was an elementary school teacher.  While people of all ages benefit from the resources and opportunities provided by libraries, the enrichment provided to children through libraries has an especially profound impact on their curiosity, literacy and overall well-being.


One of my favorite books (available through KDL) is Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.  It is a non-fiction page-turner about psychology, behavioral economics and, at its core, our selves.  This booked changed the way I viewed the world, made me more empathetic and helped me identify ways to think more critically.

David Westphal


I got involved with Friends of the Library for several reasons.  Even before living in East, my kids and I constantly used the library, and loved hanging out and reading by the fireplace.  We also have enjoyed the various programs offered for kids.  I got involved to support the community outreach we do, as well as private initiatives that benefit the library patrons directly.  The library is the soul of our community.


I love to read all things Clive Cussler, and the library has a wonderful collection of his works.

Carole McDonald

Recording Secretary

"Libraries level the playing field for everyone. Every patron has equal access to everything the library has to offer: the physical space, all the materials within the space and to the highly qualified staff. I volunteer because I believe that our library is a huge part of what makes our community great. Working with people who feel the same way is very rewarding and fun! "

Shellie Adamy


I grew up on Michigan's east side and have resided here for the past fifteen years.  An invitation from my childhood best friend brought me to the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library board over eight years ago.  I am extremely grateful for this introduction and cherish the opportunity to help support what I believe is one of the most important spaces and the anchor of our city.  Our library is more than a place to check out a book; it is a space of creativity, curiosity, and most importantly community.


“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.  It is a never failing spring in the desert.”   - Andrew Carnegie

Scott Ninemeier

Library Branch Manager

I began working for Kent District Library in 2021, in the middle of a Pandemic.  Although not surprised, I was immediately impressed by the many ways in which KDL shifted programming and procedures to continue service.  Without the support of the Community, and the Friends of the Library this wouldn't be possible and nowhere is this more prevalent than in East Grand Rapids.  Here, the Library is involved in every aspect of the Community and I look forward to continuing the legacy of Dawn Lewis and the great managers before her.  


Prior to working for Kent District Library, I was a hospitality manager for 15 years.  It's a privilege to shift from serving customers to serving the Community and I hope that experience will complement our incredible team of Librarians.  My wife Malorie and I have two children ages 7 & 4 who love the library almost as much as their father.  

Helen Williams

Board Member

Bio coming coon!

Kyle Watson

Board Member

I am all aboard the board to help make an awesome resource even better.  I have fond memories of the Round Elementary School library and Cromaine Library, both in Hartland, Michigan.  Now my family happily uses our remarkable East Grand Rapids community space for dance programs, kayak launching, identifying wildflowers and those relaxing lake views.  I prefer a good Shel Silverstein or Richard Scarry book over many and enjoy illustrating characters that might make their way into a fantastical line of children's books - someday. 

As a member of the Friends I enjoy conjuring up cool program ideas and also designing this website, so if you happen across an egregious edit in need please send me a note.  


Juyon Ham

Board Member

As a lover of books and mom of growing library patrons, I was excited to join the Friends of the EGR Library Board! I am amazed by the resources available at the EGR library and surprised to learn how much Friends of the EGR Library contributes to these and other resources for the EGR community. As a Board member, I'm honored to help continue the excellent tradition of engaging readers (and listeners) of all ages in our community and beyond. 


Leigh Eicke

Board Member

My lifelong love of reading, books, and libraries has inspired me to share these interests in a variety of ways over the years.  Particular tasks have included cataloguing in a special collection at my graduate university, listening to first-graders read aloud, teaching literature to college students, and currently, working with adult English Language Learners, usually meeting in local libraries.  The activities at our library for toddlers through middle school and adulthood have been a joy for us, too. 


I also love reading a wide variety of books.  As a member of three different reading groups, I’m currently reading George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, Randal Jelks’s African Americans in the Furniture City, and Marlon James’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf.

Pamela Grudzien

Board Member

As a professional librarian for 40 years, I worked on the front lines and also in administration at four public libraries and two university libraries. I taught library research courses to undergraduates and was an adjunct professor for Wayne State’s School of Information Sciences.  I was involved in planning and implementing a building renovation and addition project for Central Michigan University Libraries.  Now in retirement, it’s a privilege to be a member of the EGR Friends of the Library where I can support KDL’s superb library services and programs from a volunteer’s standpoint.  

Heather Lewis

Board Member

I grew up in East Grand Rapids and have fond memories of visiting “the little library by the lake,” bringing home as many books as my little arms could carry. After 20 years away, my husband and I relocated our young family back to East in 2011. I was delighted to discover that this place I remembered so fondly wasn’t so little anymore and had grown to be so much more than just a place to pick up books. Weekly trips with my children included story time, reading on the beanbag chairs, discovering new activities in the children’s area, visiting the turtles inside and outside the building. As my children have grown older, I’ve graduated to the top floor where I enjoy browsing the Friends Corner Book Shop and borrowing books for my job as an Environmental Educator at Blandford Nature Center. Whenever I enter the library I am reminded of how much this place means to this community, and I am excited to serve on the Board in order to support its operations and and staff. My favorite reads include children's picture books (I'll never outgrow them!), novels with quirky lead characters, and World War II-themed books.

Chris Linabury

Board Member

East Grand Rapids is a vibrant, active community with wonderful schools and a lovely Gaslight Village shopping area. A very essential and stabilizing part of this community is the library. It provides books, programs, and activities for all ages. I love books and I love the library. I am on my third three year term as a friend of the library board member. It is a fun experience working with the board and helping to support the library. It is one small way that I can give back to the community. 

John Schneider

Board Member

Judy and I have lived in East Grand Rapids for 47 years.  We and our three children have almost continuously taken advantage of the Library's resources.  Now we have three grandchildren who have become Library patrons.


I am the rather eccentric retiree who regularly walks in the eastern neighborhoods of EGR while reading--not listening to--books. (No accidents yet.)  Dawn Lewis, the splendid Manager of the EGR Library, thinks that I am probably of the Library's most frequent users of the Michigan Electronic Library Catalog, MeLCat, which is one of the greatest inventions since moveable type.


The EGR Library is the busiest branch, for its size, in the KDL system and KDL is one of the finest library systems in the U.S.  The Friends of the Library help this to continue to be true.

Shari Bayer

Board Member

My love affair with the library began as an adult after moving to East Grand Rapids over 20 years ago and it has drawn me in for a weekly visit ever since.  I love how as both mine and my family’s interests have changed throughout the years and the library has always had so much to offer at every stage of our lives.  Although I have been a Human Resources Professional for over 30 years and I do find joy in my career, my true passion comes from cooking.  I have the library to thank for my culinary skills as I have spent the last 18 years checking out every cookbook I was drawn to and cooking my way through them while teaching myself how to cook.  Almost four years ago I created a blog titled lovethiscookbook which would not have been possible without access so many incredible books from the library.  Now, I am able to share my love of cookbooks and my favorite recipes in them with all my hundreds of followers which brings me immense joy. I am so truly happy to serve on the board of the Friends of the Library to give back to a place that has given me so much happiness.     

Amanda Tabata

Board Member

I am honored to be part of the FOL board. Our library is the heart of this community, the place where knowledge is shared, not just through books and other media sources, but also through innovative programming and outreach efforts. I believe that these things make our city a vibrant community. As an educator and parent, I consider our library a treasure.


One of the books that I’ve been highly recommending since reading it last year is The Overstory by Richard Powers. This book spoke to my love of nature, the urgency of our current time, and how we grapple morally with the contradiction between our needs and the needs of the planet.


For younger readers, I absolutely love the book The Marvels by Brian Selznick. It contains two different narratives and the reader gets to put them together like a puzzle! This book speaks to the need to belong, as well as examining how we tell our stories.

Bona Van Dis

Board Member

Alexis Keenoy

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Abby Brant

Board Member

Growing up in Holland (MI), my mom worked for Herrick District Library. Thursdays were her night to work late at the checkout desk, so my dad would drop me off after dinner and I would stay until the library closed. I spent hours reading books about mummies and Ancient Egypt in the carousel on the children’s side of the library, eventually moving to the adult side to finish homework while listening to Alanis Morissette on my Discman (that gives you an idea of how old I am!). Those Thursday nights cemented my love of reading, and formed my view of libraries as a vital community resource - not just a borrowing service. 


Currently, my books of choice are mysteries from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction - Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham, etc. 

Chad Balon

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Eric Gollannek

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Board of Directors: Staff

Alyssa Girardi

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

Nikki Johnson

Board Member

Bio coming soon!

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