Meet the Board

Officers

photo of Ellen Freeman

Ellen has served on the Mamaroneck Library Board for 7 years and is currently President. .  She lived in Larchmont for 26 years before moving to Rye Neck 11 years ago. An educator for 40 years, Ellen was a teacher, staff developer and Assistant Principal in both public and independent schools.  She was a trustee on the Mamaroneck School Board for 6 years.   Since retiring, she has become a guide at the Metropolitan Museum of art. Ellen enjoys cycling and kayaking on the Sound. 

Term expires: May 2025

Board Members

photo of Sid Albert

Robert S. Albert is a lifelong resident of Mamaroneck and owned Sight ‘n Sound, a book and music business, for many years before working for Random House for 25 years. I’ve always loved the diversity of the people of Mamaroneck and I’ve always felt a responsibility to serve the community in whatever ways I could. I’ve previously served on the library Board for more than 10 years. Most recently, I served for two years as a Village of Mamaroneck Trustee. I would welcome the opportunity to bring my book, library and business experience to help support the library staff, the Board and our wonderful community.

Term expires: May 31, 2026

photo of E Chmilowski

Elenita grew up in Southern California, in 1997 while working at Macmillan USA transferred to New York and in 1999 she and her husband bought a home in Mamaroneck.  Her experience as Director of Library Sales & Marketing for Perseus Books, provided Elenita the opportunity to work with independent publishers, guiding and building their growth into both the library and retail trade channels. Elenita currently is the Director of Advertising and Marketing for Book and Library Services at Brodart Co.  She is a Board member of the Exhibitor Round Table for the American Library Association and liaison to the ALA Conference Committee, as well as serves on the Board of Trustees for the Mamaroneck Public Library. Elenita feels that the library is the center of a community, it is a pleasure to participate in the growth, outreach and expansion of our library.

Living in Mamaroneck is a breath of fresh air for Elenita. She loves the community, its beauty and diversity. She is a longtime, dedicated customer of Fiore’s Pilates as well a patron to the local restaurants and stores.

Term expires: May 31, 2026

photo of Sonya Giacobbe

I have lived in Mamaroneck for the last 9 years. In fact, my realtor sent me pictures of the new library to lure me over to the town (it obviously worked.) My two children, ages 10 & 14, have grown up going to the library and still get excited when it’s time to visit. One summer we were lucky enough to borrow the audiobook of Matilda, which we listened to on loop for three weeks, then the Roald Dahl cookbook from which we made Bruce Bogtrotter’s chocolate cake. It’s a treasured family memory which I am certain my children will think of when they look back on their childhood. When the opportunity arose to volunteer on the Library’s board, I didn’t have to be asked twice.

I have volunteered with the Larchmont/Mamaroneck STEM Alliance, the BOE Selection Committee, the MUFSD Special Education PTA, and the Mamaroneck Avenue PTA. My work in the PTAs has been the most involved and continues to this day, though sadly all via Zoom which is oddly exhausting.  In my professional life, I spent 15 years working for a lecture agency in a variety of roles including spearheading the opening of their literary division. Since 2006 my husband and I have been owners of a small beer brand. My role there was to oversee marketing and act as chief taster. Tough work but someone has to do it. I currently work in the Guidance Department at a local area High School. 

Term expires: May 31, 2024

photo of Janice Goldklang

My family moved to Mamaroneck in the early 60’s and I attended Mamaroneck Avenue School, The Hommocks, and graduated from MHS. I received a BA in English from Lake Forest College in Illinois. After college I began a career in Book Publishing working for Random House for over thirty years. I have held positions as Associate Publisher of Knopf, Publisher of Pantheon Books, and Executive Editorial Director of Lyons Press. I am currently the Editorial/Publishing Director of Other Press, a small independent book publisher in NYC. I am married to Daniel Kushnick, my high school sweetheart and we have three children; a daughter and two sons. After living in Pelham, NY for 23 years where we raised our children we moved to Mamaroneck two years ago and now live in my childhood home in Harbor Heights. I have spent my entire professional career devoted to books and have worked with many of the most esteemed authors of our time. I am passionate about books, reading and am a huge champion of libraries. I would be honored to serve as a member of the library board. 

Term expires: May 31, 2024

photo of George Mgrditchian

George Mgrditchian has been a resident of the Village of Mamaroneck for 35 years with his wife Joanne.  His twin sons attended the local schools of Mamaroneck.  George is the President/Owner of K Con Site Developers.  He is the president of the Orienta Point Association, On the board of the Historical Society and has been a member of many civic groups.  He has an MBA from Iona College. George brings an unequivocal mix of successful entrepreneurship and civic activity through my volunteer work that makes me an ideal candidate for the Library Board.

Term expires: May 31, 2026

photo of Fiona Palmer

Fiona Palmer has been living in Mamaroneck for 10 years, with my husband and two sons. I work at Miller’s Toy Store on Mamaroneck Avenue, and so I am in the heart of the commercial center of the village everyday, meeting and serving residents and visitors, and I know how many young families are here eager to get out and use the facilities the village has to offer.

 The public library was one of the first places we sought out as new residents with young children. At that time, the library was operating out of a temporary space at the end of Mamaroneck Avenue, and I couldn’t believe my luck when a few months later this beautiful building re-opened. 10 years on, I consider myself lucky to be offered the opportunity to serve my adopted hometown in a place as important as the public library, as they prepare for the next 5 years. I hope I can encourage more and stronger children’s services for both elementary and middle school age children and develop the library into the community hub it should be for Mamaroneck. 

Term expires: May 31, 2024

photo of Paul Ryan

I am a 38 year resident of the Village of Mamaroneck, married to Toni Pergola Ryan, father of Christopher, grandfather of Jack, Aidia, and Eloise. I am a graduate of Boston University and am recently retired from the business world. A former Councilman and Supervisor in the Town of Mamaroneck (where I was the Board’s liaison to the Larchmont Library), I have been active in Village government for 30 years, especially in areas of flood control and recreation. I would very much like to continue to give back to my community as a member of the Board of Trustees of our library.

Libraries have always been special to me, whether it was in Pelham where I grew up, or here in Mamaroneck where I made wonderful memories with my son and am taking even greater pleasure in enjoying children’s programs with my grandchildren. I believe libraries are an integral part of every community.  No longer do they house only books. They are centers of communication. I want to help to make sure that Mamaroneck’s library is a leader in providing meaningful programs to our Village residents. That is why I am running for Trustee of the library’s Board- to keep us growing and dreaming and connecting in a warm and friendly place.

Term expires: May 31, 2024

Lilliana Diaz Pedrosa

Lilliana Diaz-Pedrosa is a Mamaroneck Avenue School mom and an attorney at a leading education rights-not-for-profit agency in NYC. Professionally, she serves as the Director of the agency’s Parent Center, offering information dissemination, capacity building, and legal representation to NYC’s most vulnerable families. She has conducted hundreds of workshops on various aspects of New York education law and practice for parents and professionals, but she cannot cook a meal that both her children will like at the same time. Lilliana graduated from Fordham University School of Law and Georgetown University. Hailing from Puerto Rico, she is a native Spanish speaker and is also fluent in French. In 2012, she co-founded a not-for-profit Spanish immersion early childhood program in NYC, where she served as Board President until 2019. She is looking forward to serving the Mamaroneck community.

Term expires: May 2026

I have lived in the Village of Mamaroneck for 27 years and greatly care about this Village and its future direction. I am currently retired after spending 4 years working in publishing and 40+ years working in the financial services industry. My career experience includes financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, operations management and complex project management. Much of my free time is spent reading, traveling, swimming, gardening, cooking and volunteering.

I believe in giving back to the community in any way I can. I was a co-founder and co-chair of the Mamaroneck Avenue Block parties for 4 years. During this time, we raised over $125,000 for local charities. Additionally, I am in my second 3-year term as the Vice Chair of the Village of Mamaroneck Budget Advisory Committee. I have also signed up to be a volunteer for At Home on the Sound.

Term expires May 2026

Meet the Staff

photo of Jennifer O'Neill

I was raised in Larchmont and am excited to be back in the area. I received my BA from Stonehill College and MLIS from Long Island University and have directed libraries for more than 20 years. I am passionate about genealogy, hiking and Notre Dame football (Go Irish!) I love being surrounded by positive and creative people who are passionate about what they do. I enjoy leading Mamaroneck Public Library and serving our community.

Favorite books: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Screwtape Letters, and the Bible.

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Teresa grew up in Mamaroneck and has been working at the library for 16 years. Through marriage, she has deep roots in the village. The family tree goes back to Charles Baxter—who was heavily involved in the creation of the Mamaroneck Public Library in the 1920s and whose portrait hangs in the Reading Room—and Everett Smith, former mayor. Her three children were the third generation to graduate from Rye Neck High School. She enjoys that her job allows her to work with a great staff and connect with members of the community.

Favorite books: To Kill A Mockingbird, The Language of Flowers, and Water for Elephants

photo of Gerardo Benavides

I was born and raised in Colombia and migrated to the United States in 1986. Twenty years ago, I moved to the Town of Mamaroneck, met my wife, and have since called it my home. For the last 10 years I have worked as a superintendent and caretaker. I worked part-time for Larchmont and Mamaroneck Library’s, and was hired full-time for Mamaroneck in 2020. I enjoy dining at the many local restaurants, going for walks with my wife, and traveling to Colombia to see my son and daughter, and spend time with my beautiful grandchildren.

My favorite books are:

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez
The Bible

photo of Linda Bhandari

I began my career at Mamaroneck Public Library as a Circulation Clerk. I now work in accounts payable. I have a Bachelors degree in business administration from Punjab University, India.

My favorite books are:

  1. Just Kids, by Patti Smith
  2. Giver of Stars, by Jojo Moyes
  3. Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney
photo of Trish Byrne

My love for libraries began as a child at a small NYPL branch in the Bronx. Immediately following college graduation I was employed as a Reference Assistant for a corporate library in NYC. I received my MLS from St. John’s University and began my career at the Mamaroneck Public Library in 2000 working evenings and weekends while raising my two young sons. I became a full time Adult Services Librarian in 2007. Although I have worked in corporate and university libraries, I am dedicated to public service and am grateful to be able to serve such a wonderful community and work alongside a terrific, dedicated
staff. When not working, you will find me exploring the Hudson River with my family.

Favorite Genres: Historical Fiction, Biography, Spirituality and Health and Wellness.

photo of Mayra Cabrera

Born and raised in New York City, I settled in Westchester after graduating from Sarah Lawrence College. I moved to the Larchmont/Mamaroneck are shortly after landing a weekend job as a circulation clerk at the Mamaroneck Free Library in 1989. I have many fond memories of working here in the early ’90s. While working as a Corporate Information Specialist at various NYC law firms, I earned an M.B.A. from Fordham University and an M.L.S. from SUNY in Buffalo. I’ve come full circle and once again work here part-time at my local library, this time as a librarian in Adult Services. I am thrilled to be back! Formerly, as the Spanish Language and Literacy Librarian, I taught Conversational Spanish, ESL, Adult Literacy and Citizenship classes at the Mount Vernon Public Library. Currently, I work full time in Technical Services at Westchester Community College, and I am an Adjunct Reference Librarian at Mercy College. I serve on the board of the Westchester Library Association as an Education Co-Chair and am proud to be a founding member of the Law Library Association of Greater New York Graphic Novel Book Club. When not in a library, you can find me outside with my family enjoying the many perks of living in Mamaroneck.

My three favorite books:

Madame Curie: A Biography, by Eve Curie
Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk, by by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Second Sex, by Simone de Beauvoir

photo of Joseph DeRenzis

I was raised in Harrison, New York, but have been a resident of Mamaroneck for the last 15 years. I am a father of two young boys who attend schools in the Rye Neck District. Over the last 20 years I have worked in many trades within the construction industry, as well as heavy machinery and equipment repair, biomedical equipment repair, and building maintenance. For the last 3+ years I have had the privilege to serve as the Facilities Manager of the Mamaroneck Public Library. I enjoy the daily challenges and projects that come along with my position. Being able to work in the same community in which my children attend school has been such a blessing.

My favorite books: City of Ember, Dannemora, The Bible.

Born in Yonkers, New York, I have been working in academic libraries for 13 years in various roles and institutions. I received my BA from St. Thomas Aquinas college and my MS-ILS from SUNY Buffalo. I currently work here at Mamaroneck Public in a part-time librarian position to discover public library programming and the patrons they serve. I am a current Westchester Library Association (WLA) board member. In addition, I sit on various committees at SUNY Westchester community college, where I work full-time as a library technician. I enjoy cooking, writing restaurant reviews, and jogging. Helping others connect to vital information is central to my driving force. My mission is to serve those who don’t have a voice and lift up them to ensure everyone has a seat at the table.

photo of Hilary Hertzoff

I grew up on Long Island and in Ohio. After getting by BA from Ohio State (Medieval & Renaissance Studies) and my Masters of Library Science from Indiana University, Bloomington, I applied for the position at Mamaroneck Public Library because I knew I wanted to move back to the East Coast. I was hired as a Young Adult Librarian, fell in love with the area, and never looked back. Since then I’ve been “Jack-of-all-trades” in the library, working in the children and adult departments and circulation, doing programs, and a variety of “techie” stuff such as early website design, AV setup and support, before moving to cataloging full time a few years ago.

When not in the library, I can be found reading (books, comics, the backs of cereal boxes), crafting (knitting, crocheting, sewing), attending SF cons, playing Pokemon Go, and engaging in other geeky pursuits.

My three favorite books are:

  1. Network Effect, by Martha Wells
  2. Bookish and the Beast, by Ashley Poston
  3. Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi

Ask me tomorrow and I’ll give you a different set of three.

photo of julie

I was born and raised in Italy in the region of Calabria. After receiving my college degree in Education, I moved to the U.S. with my family and lived in Mamaroneck for many years. I attended Business school, worked at IBM for 5 years, met my husband, and started a family. When my daughters were in elementary school, I started working part-time at the Mamaroneck Library in the Circulation department. A few years later I was offered a full-time position in Technical Services. Fast forward 30+ years and I’m still fortunate enough to work at this incredible library, surrounded by such a great staff and wonderful community. This place is truly my second home. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, baking, and spending time with my two granddaughters.

These are 3 of my favorite books:
The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn
The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah
Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens.
photo of Terry Numa

I relocated to West Harrison, New York six years ago to serve as the Supervisory Librarian in the Youth Services department. I received my Bachelor’s in Family Studies from Montclair University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey; an MLIS from Clarion University in Pennsylvania,(Children’s Services Cohort) and earned the post graduate Advanced Certification in Public Library Administration from Long Island University. I am passionate about welcoming children to their Library and supporting them in their learning. I have 10 years’ experience in Library Management and along the way earned local, state, and National grants for innovative children’s programming. I am happy to serve here in Mamaroneck with wonderful colleagues dedicated to public service. In my spare time I enjoy the beach, spending time with my family and visiting art museums.

Favorite Genres: I love biographies, memoirs, non-fiction and children’s literature that focuses on immigrant stories, social justice, kindness and positive change in the world.

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Michelle Magnotta

Michelle is a lifelong resident of Mamaroneck, and has fond memories of coming to the Mamaroneck Library as a young child and teenager. She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a master’s in Library Science. She first worked at the Mamaroneck Library in 2008, and has held positions as a Circulation Clerk and as a Children’s Librarian.

Three favorite books:

Keeping the Moon, by Sarah Dessen
November of the Heart, by LaVyrle Spencer
The Girls From Ames, by Jeffrey Zaslow

Originally from the Bronx, Patty moved to Westchester as a teenager and, while attending Rye High School, received her certification as a dental assistant. Patty has worked with the same orthodontist for over 40 years traveling to offices throughout Westchester, Orange, Suffolk, and Putnam Counties, as well as the five boroughs of New York. Passionate about learning, Patty pursued an additional career in 2003 in the Harrison Central school district and has been working for almost twenty years as a teacher aide assisting teachers and students in the science lab. A lifelong lover of books, Patty has always enjoyed libraries and bookstores. Working in a library was always of interest to Patty and became a reality when she applied for a part time position at the Mamaroneck Public library in 2022. She enjoys working as a circulation clerk, and interacting with the many patrons who frequent the library. 

When not working, Patty can be found reading books, cheering on the NY Mets, or spending time with her husband, 2 daughters,  and 5 furry grand-dogs.

Favorite authors

Kelly Corrigan

David Sedaris

Andre Dubus

Elizabeth Berg

Joyce Carol Oates

Sue Miller

Books of short stories

The New York Times Book Review

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. I’m a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, and have a BA in Historical Studies from Empire State College (SUNY), and obtained my MSLIS from Pratt Institute. I am a member of Beta Phi Mu, an international honor society for library and information studies. I moved to Westchester in 2002, and loved my life in Shrub Oak. Currently, I reside with my wife in Connecticut.

My favorite books are:

  1. Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth
  2. Our Lady of the Flowers, by Jean Genet
  3. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K. Dick
Susan A., Adult Reference Librarian

Susan was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and raised her family in Northern Westchester. Susan has loved libraries since she was a little girl (and remembers practicing writing her name over and over before registering for her first library card) continuing on to high school, when she was a page at the Mid-Manhattan branch of the NYPL. She took a detour and worked in film production for several years, then went back to school for her MLS. Susan enjoyed a long career as a school Library Media Specialist in private and public schools in Westchester County and is excited to work with the wonderful community in Mamaroneck. When not spending time with her family, she can be found reading, watching movies, cooking (and eating) or taking long walks while listening to a book.

Susan recently enjoyed The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel and Caste by Isabel Wilkerson.

photo renee

My passion for library work began when I started working as a page in the Children’s Room in high school at the Scarsdale Public Library. I continued at the library all through college as a circulation clerk until I earned my MLS from Long Island University. I have over 30 years experience working as a librarian in the legal profession, as a school media specialist, public, special and management positions. My career has come full circle since working in the Children’s Room. I am an avid reader, knitter, and enjoy my time with my family. I look forward to engaging children in literature that will fuel their imagination, create endless possibilities, and expand their work and their hearts.

Favorite books:

Charlotte’s Web
Little Women
The Secret Garden

Patsy D’Ambrosio, Technical Support Specialist

I have been a lifelong resident of Yonkers, NY. I graduated Iona College in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems. My role is to help make the library as technology efficient as possible. I love introducing new technology to people and helping them get more comfortable with the many tools that are available today. In my free time, I am a big movie fanatic, an avid gamer, and love to talk about anything and everything football related.

My three favorite books are:

The Outsiders, by S. E. Hinton

Son, by Lois Lowry

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I enjoy working in the Children’s Department and watching children discover and explore. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry is my favorite read aloud children’s book. Historical fiction is my preferred genre, The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict is my latest read.  When not reading, I can be found hiking, knitting, puzzling (word and jigsaw) and exploring.

I’m a high schooler and an aspiring philosopher. Being around books my entire life, I love being enveloped by the space the library provides. Besides reading books, I also avidly enjoy reading webcomics/webfiction, listening to kpop, and playing Hidato. I always look for new recommendations but some of my current favorite books/comics are Cheese in the Trap by Soonkki, This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, Know My Name by Chanel Miller, and the Timmy Failure series by Stephen Pastis.

I have earned degrees from Mercy University, Manhattanville College, and SUNY New Paltz. Throughout my career, I have worked in elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. During my time teaching Research Methods at Purchase College, I developed an interest in librarianship. As my students were information users, they needed help navigating the library’s various tools. To address this need, I completed the Information and Library Science program at SUNY University of Buffalo. Outside of work, I enjoy making quilts. Additionally, I am an avid book lover!

Barbara has been at Mamaroneck Library for 5 years. She spent her first year volunteering in the Library’s Book Sale Room before being hired in Circulation. She lives in the area, and her two children went through the Mamaroneck School district. Barbara loves working and volunteering at the Library to bring happiness to the community, as well as having access to the wonderful books that go by her desk.

Favorite Books:

  1. Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett
  2. You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
  3. How to Stop Time, by Matt Haig

I started working at the Mamaroneck library as a circulation clerk in June of 2021. I’m a college student majoring in English with a focus in creative and professional writing. I’m very passionate about writing and love being able to find inspiration for my stories through the books at the library. I’ve been coming to the library since I was little so I very much enjoy working here and getting to meet all of the different patrons. Some of my favorite books are The Fault In Our Stars, Water For Elephants, and I love poetry collections.

Jamice started her career in library work as a part-time library clerk in August of 2021. She worked her first job in a book setting in 1994 at Cambridge University Press Distribution Center, until they closed their doors in 2009.

Having discovered a love of books, she volunteered at Mount Vernon Public Library, and soon was hired as a part time Library Aide from 2010 to 2020, while also working part time at the Town of Pelham Public Library as a Library Clerk, from 2014 to the present. She enjoys working with the public and making people laugh and smile with her jovial personality.
She is currently living in New Rochelle with her daughter.
Favorite books:
An American Marriage, a novel by Tayari Jones
Urban Fiction books
True 2 The Game,  by Teri Woods

Being in libraries is in my blood. I love the people we serve and being able to facilitate information, big or small! I grew up in Hawthorne, NY, with my first job at Mount Pleasant Public Library, on and off for six years. I have a Bachelor’s in English and Writing from Marist College, and lived in Boston, MA for almost three years, getting my MLIS at Simmons University. When I am not working, I am an avid reader (of course!), a singer in choirs, and am currently working on my first book. My goal is to always provide excellent and accessible services to all people, and make safe spaces.

Some of my favorite books include:

  • If We Were Villains, by M.L. Rio
  • The Book of Longings, by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Red, White, and Royal Blue, by Casey McQuiston
  • Old Enough, by Haley Jakobson

I was born and raised in Virginia Beach, went to James Madison University (BA – English), and moved to NYC in 2003. I have been an actress, bartender, rock star, event coordinator, vet tech, stay-at-home mom and finally a Library Page — leading to a position in Marketing through my desire to serve the library and community in a greater capacity. I enjoy woodworking, gardening, painting, crochet and street hockey. I live in Rye Neck with my husband, daughter and two cats.

Favorite books I read last year: The Alchemist, Animal Dreams, The Book Thief.