Henrietta Public Library Board of Trustees
The Henrietta Public Library Board of Trustees represents the residents in the Town. They believe the library is a safe haven for everyone. They strive to be inclusive of all to educate, to enlighten and to entertain.
You can contact the Board directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The library board's regular meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at 5:30pm in the Community Room. See the library's events calendar for special meetings and up-to-date days, times, and locations of meetings.
Nykki Matthews (she/her)
Nykki was born in Florida and raised in New York. She has fond memories from her childhood in the early 90’s, of going to the library on Arnett Street in Rochester. She recalls the librarians and staff, and how the library afforded access and opportunity to explore reading and connecting with others living in the 19th Ward the best! Fast-forward to joining the Board of Trustees at the Henrietta Public Library, she calls it an honor to continue providing fond memories and strengthening the awareness of how the library can continue to be the cornerstone of a community and beyond. After graduating from the RCSD, she went on to pursue post-secondary education ultimately earning a Master's of Science in School Counseling from the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education, a Bachelor's of Science from Buffalo State College in Sociology and an Associate's Degree from Monroe Community College in Liberal Arts. As an educator, counselor, coach, and mentor, Nykki enjoys listening to individuals and hearing their perspectives on various topics. She considers listening and building relationships her superpowers. She is also the author of a children’s book series that aspires to bring awareness to matters concerning diversity and inclusion while promoting the importance of a positive self-image and self-acceptance. Nykki lives in Henrietta with her husband, Tori, and their children. She says that she is afforded the best ‘view’ of life and learns daily from her beautiful and kind boys: Myles, Christian, and Wells.
Term Length (2021-2025)
Board Vice President
Brandon West (he/him)
Brandon was a long-time Michigander before moving to New York and establishing his residence in Henrietta in 2015. He moved here to pursue his career as an academic librarian in the SUNY system after earning his Master of Library Science. Because of his career, he strongly believes public libraries are essential for connecting people to information, ideas, and the community. Brandon manages the references services and library instruction program at SUNY Geneseo’s college library. Aside from teaching students research skills, he produces scholarship and presents about it nationally. He is most proud of the two books he published through the Association of College & Research Libraries. In 2019, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship for his many contributions and accomplishments. He is also an advocate of the LGBTQ+ community and strives to promote acceptance, understanding, and equality; one way he does this is by serving as a Safe Zone facilitator to teach people about LGBTQ+ concepts. Brandon loves living in Henrietta for many reasons – one being access to all the great local parks for hiking. Other reasons include great neighbors, a wide variety of restaurants, and living five minutes away from Wegman’s! In his free time, Brandon enjoys traveling with his husband, making improvements to home, and watching movies.
Term Length (2022-2026)
Martina Thompson (she/her)
A resident of Henrietta for almost forty years, Martina “Tina” Thompson has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Henrietta Public Library since 1983. She currently co-chairs the Minerva Campbell Literary Contest. She was a Director of the New York State Association of Library Boards (now called the Library Trustees Association) for nine years, where she served as secretary and first vice president. “My husband began his career in education as an English teacher and I was a history major. Our house could never hold all the books we wanted to read. The public library has been a wonderful resource for my family and me.” In recognition for her volunteer work on behalf of libraries, Tina received the Service Beyond Measure Award from the Monroe County Library System in 1995 and a special award from the Town of Henrietta in 1998. In 2007 she was named Henrietta Woman of the Year by the Antoinette Brown Blackwell Society. The following year she received the Distinguished Library Service Award from the New York State Association of Library Boards. Tina’s additional volunteer work includes serving on the Monroe County Board of Trustees, chairing the Scholarship Committee of the Antoinette Brown Blackwell Society, and serving as first vice-president of the Women’s Fellowship of the Henrietta United Church of Christ.
Term Length (2023-2027)
Linda Szczesniak (she/her)
Linda Szczesniak has been a resident of Henrietta for over 30 years. She and her husband, Peter, are the parents of Tyler, Amanda, and Austin, all Rush-Henrietta graduates. Linda received an Associate's Degree from Alfred State and a Bachelor's Degree from RIT and has worked for Stantec Consulting Services for twenty-seven years. Generously sharing her time and skills, Linda volunteers for the Ronald McDonald House within Strong Hospital and as a cuddler in Strong's NICU. She also is an usher for the Rochester Broadway Theater League. An avid reader, Linda is an active participant in a neighborhood book club. She loves to discover new authors, but does not have a favorite author, and loves to read anything and everything.
Term Length (2020-2024)
Michelle R. King (she/her)
Michelle R. King has been a resident of Henrietta for over 20 years. She has a Bachelor's in Social Work with a Master's in Public Administration. The majority of her career has been in Human Services. She currently lives with her loving and supportive husband, Andrew, and their rescue dog Cheech. She loves this town and appreciates the diversity of the residents. As a Henrietta resident, she also appreciates and loves the library. She is a native Rochesterian and grew up within the Ninteenth Ward. She remembers walking with her siblings to their neighborhood library. Walking through the wooden doors, the smell, bright lights, and beauty of endless rows of books flood her mind to this day. Once inside, she felt her whole world opening up. The experience of coming across books that were tangible is something that the digital world can never recreate. She loves the ability to read and to be absorbed in the words. And when she became a mom, she relished in seeing her beautiful daughters, Qianna and Jenae, beam with the joy of reading and, she sees that continue with her grandchildren, Soniya, Harriso, and Ella. In addition to her love of books, she enjoys biking with the ladies of Black Girls Do Bike Rochester group. "A book is a Gift you can open again and again," Garrison Keillor.
Term Length (2023-2027)
Rosanne Rosella (she/her)
After 32 years, Rosanne retired from the Henrietta Public Library (HPL) in 2020. During her tenure, Rosanne served the library in many capacities. As bookkeeper, she was responsible for maintaining the budget, paying the bills, and accounting for the fines. Rosanne established the HPL’s first adult educational program. With her dedication, enthusiasm, and outgoing personality, Rosanne grew adult programming at the HPL into one of the most robust series in the community that continues to this day. As chief morale officer, Rosanne used her friendliness and positivity to create a caring, collaborative, and fun work environment at the HPL. HPL was indeed Rosanne’s second family. Her long service history provides her with a unique perspective on issues facing HPL. Rosanne is excited and honored that her appointment to the board will allow her to continue to work with her second family and serve the library. Rosanne and her husband, Vincent, have resided in Henrietta for 43 years. Their two sons, Peter and Chris, are both Rush-Henrietta alumni and now have families of their own. Rosanne enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren. When not with a grandchild, you can find Rosanne and Vincent taking walks throughout the community or working out at the YMCA. Rosanne has diverse literary interests and loves everything from biographies to crime novels to romantic novels.
Term Length (2022-2026)
John Dewees (he/him)
John Dewees was a lifelong Ohioan before moving to New York in 2021 and settling in Henrietta, with the great fortune of finding a new residence just a couple minute walk from the local public library. He has spent his career working in both academic and public libraries since 2006, gaining his Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University in 2014 and his BA from Ohio State University in 2009. John moved to New York to take a position at the University of Rochester as the Digital Asset Management Lead, working to ensure that the digital resources held by the university are able to be accessed and used far into the future. He tries to stay involved in the larger professional library community by presenting at conferences and mentoring new professionals to the field. Like most library-lovers, he is an avid reader with a "to be read" pile that is nearly as tall as John is.
Term Length (2023)
Sandra Vallot (she/her)
Sandra M. Vallot and her husband Ronald moved to Henrietta from Chicago, IL. They have resided in Henrietta for over 50 years because of the welcoming diversity of the community. She is a retiree of the Allstate Insurance company after a 40-year career. In addition, she attended the Rochester Institute of Technology part-time for many years and received a BS degree in Business Administration and General Management and, an Associate degree in Applied Science. Sandra has a lifelong love of books, reading, and commitment to continuous learning. She participates in several book discussion groups; she is also a member Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at RIT as a participant and course facilitator. This organization offers a wide range academic, cultural and social programs that inspire adult learners. Libraries have and will always be important to Sandra. She looks forward to the privilege of serving as a member of Board of Trustees at the Henrietta Library.
Term Length (2023)
Katherine Kells (she/her)
Katherine feels honored to be a Library Trustee for Henrietta. As a lifelong reader, she still marvel at the concept of a public free lending library. What a towering inspiration to open the doors of thought and ideas to all. That is freedom. Freedom to learn, freedom to explore – limitless and powerful. She was fortunate to attend a rigorous secondary school in Providence. Classical High School was a prep school. It was a public high school with very few extracurricular activities and a high drop out rate, but what an education! Fortunately, her mother insisted that all five children get a college education. Katherine and her sisters recieved their teaching degrees at Rhode Island College of Education. Her brothers went to Providence College and the seminary. Her life, with minor digressions, has been as a parent, which she believes is the most important job there is. Some of those digressions were teaching guitar at Continuing Ed, writing for the Henrietta Post, tutoring for the Pittsford schools for children on extended health absence and being a kindergarten aide in the classroom at St. Louis School for a number of years. She looks forward to being of use to the library, where she is a frequent visitor. She has always found the Henrietta Library to be user-friendly and the staff so gracious and helpful. The door to enlightenment is open to all. Thank you, Henrietta Public Library.
Term Length (2022-2026)
Town Board Liason
Lisa Bolzner (she/her)
Lisa Bolzner is our Town Board Representative. She has lived in Henrietta most of her life graduating from high school in 1980. She continued on at College and received her degree in Business Administration. Lisa has two adult children Ashley and Erik who were raised in the community and 3 granddaughters. Lisa has been a licensed Realtor in the area for nearly 30 years, and finds great pride in introducing clients, and customers to the town. She also serves on the Comida Board for Monroe County, and was on the Bicentennial Committee for Henrietta which helped raise funds for the Library. Lisa has been a member of Calvary Community Church in Henrietta for over 15 years where she attends and volunteers. She has always loved the library, growing up you could find me reading multiple books at a time. She loved the ability to read a book and go on a adventure. She instilled the love of reading in her children and enjoy watching that continue with her grandchildren. She really enjoys bringing her grandchildren to the library whether it be storytime, special events or playing and choosing special books to take home. Many people think a library is just books, but the Henrietta Library is so much more than that, and the amazing staff continues to expand on the resources available.
Term Length (2022-)