Michele Bonan is a seasoned advocate with 20 years of experience in non-profit government relations, public policy, and advocacy. Motivated by a desire for social justice and community empowerment, her career has been focused on issues ranging from healthcare, civil rights and affordable housing to good government. She currently serves ...
Michele Bonan is a seasoned advocate with 20 years of experience in non-profit government relations, public policy, and advocacy. Motivated by a desire for social justice and community empowerment, her career has been focused on issues ranging from healthcare, civil rights and affordable housing to good government.
She currently serves as Brooklyn Public Library’s Vice President of Government and Community Relations. She charts the strategy and manages the department’s work as well as leading advocacy campaigns to increase budget support for the library and creating strategic partnerships to advance library priorities. Prior to joining Brooklyn Public Library, Michele directed government relations at the American Cancer Society, winning landmark policy changes on a variety of public health issues, and raising millions in government funds for cancer prevention programs. Michele has also served as the Director of State Government Relations for Gay Men's Health Crisis, working to ensure civil rights of people with HIV and the LGBT community, and as Statewide Director of Organizing for NYS Tenants and Neighbors, protecting affordable housing in New York. She attended the State University of NY at Albany for her graduate and undergraduate work in communication. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband Steve, son Benjamin and daughter, Laila.
Joanne King is Director – Communications at Queens Library, Jamaica, NY. She has worked on the library’s external and internal marketing and communications initiatives since 1996, following a successful tenure in the for-profit world. She is a member of Queens Library’s Senior Management Team. She is a contributing editor for Public Libraries magazine, a member of the American Library Association and the Public Library Association.
Ken Weine was named Vice President of Communications & Marketing at The New York Public Library in 2013. He leads a department that is responsible for informing and educating the public about the Library’s programs, services, plans, and initiatives. Weine manages the development and execution of the Library’s communications and marketing strategies, and specifically directs the NYPL's media relations, social media, multimedia, and publications and graphics teams.
Before joining the New York Public Library, Weine was Vice President of Communications & Branding for Consumer Reports. He started at Consumer Reports in 2006 and was responsible designing and implementing communications strategy for the organization's magazines and Web sites, and for the advocacy campaigns of Consumers Union. He also led a branding initiative for the 77-year-old organization.
Prior to Consumer Reports, Weine was Communications Director at Newsweek, and before that a Staff Attorney and Communications Director at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School.
Weine received his BA from the University of Michigan and JD from Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, where he was a Jacob Burns Scholar. He and his wife live in Brooklyn, New York, and have two children.
Lauren Comito, our moderator, is a cape wearing, ukulele playing, tech training, job search helping, activist librarian in NYC. As the Job and Business Academy Librarian for Queens Library’s Central location, she helps people to fold technology into their daily lives and break down the walls that keep them from being fully employed.
Lauren is incapable of saying no to volunteer opportunities. She has been elected as a Councilor at Large for the American Library Association, and is currently serving as the President Elect of the Leadership and Management section of the New York Library Association. As the Board Chair and a founding member of Urban Librarians Unite she is a key figure in modern urban library activism and has been instrumental in developing an organization which has received international attention while scoring political victories at home.
She is creative, passionate about connecting library patrons to services, and a true believer in the ability of the library to change people’s lives and communities for the better. If you aren’t a believer, get the hell out of her way.