I am Penny (Penelope) Peoples: Watertown resident, book lover, and would-be library trustee. Since moving to Watertown in 2001, I have been a constant user and admirer of the Watertown Free Public Library (WFPL), often thinking that it is like the beating heart of our community.
It fosters such important values as lifelong learning, creativity, imagination, community building and participation, inclusivity and diversity — to name but a few. Grateful as I am to all those past and present who have created and maintained this model of library excellence, I am eager for a chance to myself contribute to our community in the arena for which I am best suited, namely as one of the six trustees who develop policy for the WFPL and oversee its leadership.
Joining with trustee colleagues, library administration and staff, I want to assure that the library maintains its current excellence in a host of areas and improves its operations and programming to meet evolving challenges.
With my particular skill set, knowledge, and experience, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to serve effectively on the Library’s Board. I will bring to the board my passion for libraries, learning, and community and, if elected, will serve diligently on behalf of the many Watertown residents (and others!) who love and use the library.
I have worked in the academic, corporate and non-profit worlds and thus have a broad understanding of how different organizations work. And I am a genuine “people person” who values and encourages communication, collaboration, cooperation and team-work. As a corporate human resources manager, I developed internal communications, performance appraisal, management development and other programs. I also headed up PR (external communications) for a company.
As a professional fundraiser for non-profits such as Yale University, the Harvard Law School, Middlebury College, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, I raised millions of dollars in support of those institutions. And I learned the vital nature of philanthropy—not just as a source of funds for an organization but as an important opportunity for those who love and believe in an institution to fulfill their own desires to contribute and advance a particular mission or institution.
As a grandmother of a 14-year-old grandson who lives in the middle of nowhere New Mexico and is being home-schooled, I have developed a reading and writing curriculum for him on which we work thrice weekly via Skype. He is fast becoming an aspiring writer who loves books as much as I. Finally, as a once-upon-a time teacher of English with a PhD in English literature, I had the extraordinary and priceless opportunity to conduct my research in such amazing libraries as the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University, the British Museum in London and the Folger Shakespeare Library, in Washington, D.C. I am indebted to and grateful for all libraries, especially, at this time in my life, the WFPL.
Thus I ask you to please, on Nov. 3, use one of your three votes to elect me to The Library’s Board. Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy.
Candidate for Library Trustee