Board of Trustees
Janice Plourde — President
Janice Plourde, born in Exeter, NH in 1961, is a life-long resident of the Maine—New Hampshire Seacoast. She first moved to Cape Neddick in 1987 and has lived at her current Cape Neddick address, with her husband, former Clue Magazine Publisher, Peter Agrafiotis, since the early 90s. After a period as a yoga instructor and managing a Portsmouth restaurant, she, in 1996, founded the Hazyland Soap Company, which supplied all natural, hand-made soaps to shops from Newburyport to Portland. She eventually opened the Hazyland Gallery of Artisans in the former Cape Neddick post office building, while also selectively dabbling in real estate sales. But she left the world of business behind to work at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art eventually assuming the position of External Relations and Events Coordinator, until 2013. She now, in addition to her trustee position at York Library, is board secretary of the Portsmouth-based NGO Rain for the Sahel and Sahara, which is dedicated to providing educational, entrepreneurial and other opportunities to underserved rural people of Niger in West Africa. Janice additionally is an avid experimental chef and has been responsible for providing dinners featuring her own intriguing concoctions for both public and private events and gatherings in the Seacoast. She enjoys reading, gardening and owning wonderful dogs.
Back to Board of Trustees
Dave Cohen–Vice President
Dave Cohen is a longtime Seacoast Area resident who grew up and attended public school in Portsmouth NH and received degrees in Mechanical Engineering and English from UNH. Following college he did a year long stint under two chefs at a café in Portsmouth, then journeyed west for 5 years in San Francisco and the Bay Area where he worked for several high tech start-ups. The Seacoast lured him back though, and he’s been living in York since 1999 with his wife and son. He’s currently employed by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (the IAPP) and works in the publications department producing educational webinars and programming sessions for their conferences. When not working he enjoys running, gardening, skiing, canoeing, hiking and generally being outdoors as much as possible. And, a good cup of coffee.
Jen Ring— Secretary
Jen grew up in southern Maine, then left to study engineering at the
University of Rochester. She worked at Boeing and Pratt and Whitney as a structural analyst and project manager. She and her husband moved to York in 2005. In 2008 she made the leap to full time motherhood. The York library has been a cornerstone of parenting for her. She became a volunteer in the Children’s Room, and has been excited to share some STEM concepts with the
littlest patrons. In her free time, Jen bakes, gardens, and runs and dreams of travel.
Jennifer Hunter — Treasurer
Jennifer Hunter and her husband moved to York in 2003. She has worked in the environmental field for nearly 20 years in the areas of natural resource protection, energy efficiency, and watershed management. Most recently she served as director of a coastal watershed protection program based at UNH until 2010 when she stepped down to be home with her two young sons, dog, and chickens. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Brown University and master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University.
Back to Board of Trustees
Barbara Landis Chase is a retired educator, who has lived full time in York since 2012. She works part time as a senior consultant for Carney Sandoe and Associates in Boston. In that role she conducts searches for heads of school and advises schools on leadership and governance. Barbara began her career as a teacher in independent schools. She taught at the Lower, Middle and Upper School levels before becoming the Director of Admission at The Wheeler School in Providence, R.I. She went on to become Headmistress at the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore for 14 years. In 1994, she became the fourteenth Head of School at Phillips Academy in Andover. She was the first woman to lead the School, from which she retired in 2012. Among other volunteer commitments, Barbara has served on the Corporation of Brown University as both an elected Alumnae Trustee and a Fellow; as a trustee of the National Association of Independent Schools; the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence, MA., and as an overseer of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. Barbara received a BA from Brown University, in History, and an M.A.L.S. from Johns Hopkins University. Married to David Chase, Barbara has two daughters and three grandchildren. Barbara has always appreciated the potential of libraries; she fondly remembers as a young person, traveling by bus through rural Lancaster County, where she grew up, to the city, to spend hours in the new Lancaster Public Library. She is a devoted patron of the York Public Library, as well as a member of the Boston Athenaeum. An avid reader in many genres, she has a keen interest in history—especially that of Atlantic Slavery and Nineteenth Century abolitionism in the United States.
Nancy Garrick grew up in Southern Connecticut and has lived in York since 2009. She has also lived in Boulder and Flagstaff, CO; Paris, France; Boston MA; and Peterborough, NH. She has a BA from Keene State College in Integrated Curriculum and a M.Ed. from Harvard University.
Of the several program director positions Nancy has had in the arts, she is most proud of the Enrichment Program she created and administrated for eight Elementary Schools in Southern NH which brought artists into the schools to work ‘hands-on’ with students; offered workshops using the arts to support literacy; organized field trips; and secured state and federal funding, corporate sponsorships and individual donations.
Since moving to York, she has worked as an Ed Tech at Wells High School. Currently, she is the Vice Chair of the York Diversity Forum, involved in YDF programming and the Seasonal Workers Program. Recently, Nancy came on board with the YPL Arts Committee.
She has two wonderful children, two little grand nuggets and a one year old Labradoodle named Lola. Nancy loves music, art, literature and travel. She remembers the names of her childhood librarians – Miss Johnson and Mr. Davenport!
Marc Newbury Hovde
Marc grew up in Manhattan, earned a BA at University of New Hampshire and moved to York in 1994 with his wife Deb. He has a son and a daughter, both in York schools. Marc has been a builder specializing in energy efficient building for over 20 years. In his spare time he enjoys sailing and playing music.
Back to Board of Trustees
Alice grew up in Queens, NY, earned her BA from Antioch College and then relocated to Mexico to work for her BFA in Sculpture. She met her future husband while studying at the Instituto Allende and spent years living in Mexico raising their four children. Once the family moved to the USA, she worked as a Social Worker and then Program Director at the Manchester (NH) Girls Club, and later as an art teacher in the Manchester Public School system, while also earning her Masters in Education. Now retired, she and her husband live in York where she is active in the York Diversity Forum, volunteers at the Nubble Light Gift Shop, and is a member of the Program and Film committees at the library.
Bob Luttman received his first library card before starting kindergarten. He grew up in Detroit and has a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Michigan. After a career in healthcare, including running his own consulting practice, he became an at-home dad for his two daughters and a professional volunteer in a small Massachusetts town. He has been a soccer coach, room parent, Brownie troop leader, run school fundraisers, served on a senior center building committee, started a farmers’ market, helped preserve a 17th century home, and ran a town-wide email newsletter. He was also elected to four three year terms as a Library Trustee. After summering in York for several years, Bob and his wife Mary became year-round residents in 2013. He serves on the Library’s Program Committee, the York Cliff Walk Committee, volunteers with the Gundalow Company, and with the Blue Ocean Society on whale watch trips in the Gulf of Maine.
Judith E. McAllister
Judith is originally from Andover, MA. She moved to York in 2006 with her husband Ron McAllister. She has been coming to York since 1957. Judith’s family includes 6 sons and 9 grandchildren. Her background is in Nursing. She worked at Duke University Neonatal Care Unit before moving to Riverside, CA where she volunteered with the local Health Dept in Social Service Clinics. She moved back to New England and worked in Special Education in the Bedford Public Schools. She and her family lived for 6 months in Northern Ireland. She relocated to Elizabethtown, PA and worked in Campus Ministry at Elizabethtown College. Judith has been a weekly volunteer at York Hospital for almost 6 years and she is an active member of several community committees.
After an early first career as an educator, Bernadine then became a bank systems analyst and project manager. She retired and moved to Ogunquit in 2001 and then to York in 2009. She has served on many performing and visual arts boards including the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Ogunquit Museum of American Art. In Maine she has been a member of municipal, historic preservation and conservation committees. Bernadine attended Boston College, Columbia University and Indiana University. She has served as a member of the York Library Art Committee since 2010.
Susan Ellis Yorston has lived in the area since 1976 when she came to the University of New Hampshire to complete a BS in Environmental Conservation. While raising her two children, she went back to UNH for her Masters in Teaching, Social Studies & Journalism. In the next 25 years, she worked in education, in both the non-profit and public sectors- at the York Schools; for Historic New England; the Agamenticus Yacht Club in summers and most recently in Saco as an English and Social Studies teacher for ten years. A long time supporter of the library, she currently acts as chair of the Program Committee, tutors students and reads a lot.
Michelle Sampson– Director
Michelle has a BA and MA in English from Millersville University of PA as well as an MLIS from the University of Michigan (and the student loans to prove it all). While working as an archivist, she began moonlighting as a reference librarian in the Needham (MA) Public Library. It felt like home and she soon made the leap from archives to full-time librarianship. She worked as an Assistant Director at the Dover (MA) Public Library for several years before relocating to Milford, NH to become Director of the Wadleigh Memorial Library for the next 11 years. Having grown up with her sister, landlocked on a 3rd generation dairy farm in Pennsylvania, she didn’t know what she was missing until she saw the ocean for the first time. It wasn’t long before she made it her mission to one day live by the sea. She currently lives in Wells where she enjoys taking her German shepherd Henry (named after Thoreau…once an English major…) for walks on the beach.
Kathleen Whalin — Children’s Librarian
Kathleen has been a librarian for more than 25 years. She has served as a children’s librarian in West Virginia, Connecticut and Ohio, and taught children’s literature while in graduate school. She holds a Ph.D. in Children’s Literature and Education. Her interests include good children’s books (naturally), reading murder mysteries, needlework and raising puppies that will become service dogs.
Kim Erickson Myers — Assistant Director
Kim started at YPL in August 2008. Prior to that, she served as the Library Assistant at South Berwick Public Library for 5 years. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. She feels passionate about public libraries and their importance to their communities and has been involved for over 20 years with the Berwick Public Library as a volunteer, Friend, and board member. She lives in Berwick.
Frank Dehler — Circulation and Public Services Coordinator
Frank Dehler joined the York Public Library staff in August 2004, as Circulation Desk Assistant, transitioning to Circulation and Public Services Coordinator in August 2005. He has been a teaching assistant in English Literature at the Harvard Extension School for 12 years, and brings to his role at the Library a commitment to provide the public with the highest quality personal service. His interests include birding, leading trips for York County Audubon and banding birds for Massachusetts Audubon. He lives in Cape Neddick.
Katie Arey-Assistant Children’s Librarian
Katie joined the York Public Library in November 2016. She earned a M.A. in Environmental Education from the University of New Hampshire in 2008. She began her journey as an Assistant Children’s Librarian at the Hamilton-Wenham Public Library in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. She loves working with children and their families, and thoroughly enjoys helping them discover all of the wonderful resources the library has to offer. Katie lives in South Berwick with her family. Her interests include reading picture books, knitting, and transforming her scraggly front yard into a glorious edible landscape.
Sudie Blanchard – Librarian
With an MLS from the University of Michigan, Sudie began her library career at the University of Cincinnati in 1971. When life brought her to New England, she fell in love with public libraries and served in them in Wellesley, MA, Westwood, MA and Greenwich, CT. In 2001, Sudie became the Assistant Director at YPL and served in that capacity until 2008. She continued to work part-time until she retired in 2012. After a 4 year hiatus as a hospital chaplain, she has returned as a part-time librarian, proving that you can take the librarian out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the librarian! Sudie lives in York and loves to sing and sew.
Theo Kontos — Technology Librarian
A graduate from the University of Rhode Island’s Library Science Master’s program, Theo has been in library services since 2012. His interests lie in technology, social media, and youth services and he recognizes public libraries as an important bridge in bringing new technologies to anyone that would like to have access to them. Theo lives in New Hampshire and loves reading, traveling, and tinkering with new gadgets and software.
Back to Library Staff
Jeanine Means — Library Assistant
Jeanine joined the library staff in August 2005. She previously worked at Coastal Ridge Elementary School library. Originally from Ohio, she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Miami University and worked in publishing as a book designer and illustrator. Her family has lived in York since 1995. She enjoys painting, drawing and all outdoor activities.
Michele Bertolini — Library Assistant
Michele began working at the York Public Library in 2007. Before that, she was home raising her children. She has a Bachelors degree in writing from Concord University and enjoys reading, boating, scrapbooking and gardening. She lives in Cape Neddick with her husband Garret, a York native, her two children and her two rescued beagles.
Megan Farley –Library Assistant
Megan came on board in 2014. She has been working at the York High School library since 2000. She has a B.A. in English Literature and Master of Education. She has held positions in writing, editing, advertising and teaching English/Language Arts. Megan enthusiastically promotes the power of books to inspire, educate and entertain. She lives in Portsmouth.