Mark Kissinger

Bethlehem resident: 26 years
Senior Advisor
Community service/volunteer work
I am on the Board of Community Caregivers. I have volunteered for Art on the Rail Trail and for Food Bank of Northeastern NY.

Other pertinent details
I have been on the Library Board since 2013. I am curious about history and politics and value civic life.

Experience and goals

What do you consider your most meaningful career accomplishment?
My most meaningful accomplishments have been helping families navigate the health and long-term care system. I retired from the state in 2020 and recently went back to work for the State Assembly Health Committee chair.

What skills would you bring to your tenure on the board?
I have years of problem solving experience around complex policy issues. I also am a good listener and work to bring people with disparate ideas together.

What are your goals as a library board member?
My central goal is make the library better every day. I also work to support the staff so that the library can offer fresh new services and programs. I would also like to bring more people into the library.

Views about libraries

How does a library best serve its community?
A library best serves its community by both being a reflection of its values and a catalyst for excellence.

What are the most important issues facing public libraries today?
Public libraries face a number of important issues, including suppression of ideas and materials. Our library has not had to face these issues and I stand ready to defend the First Amendment in case we do.

How are public libraries changing? How can a library board expedite these changes?
How can a library board expedite these changes: The growth of digital media and the pressure for new programming are examples of changes. We have offered services such as curbside pickup and a dramatic increase in ebooks to help the community.

How have libraries influenced your life?
Libraries have been an oasis for learning for myself and an important tool for parents. Recently, this library has allowed me to give back to my community.

What do you like best about the BPL?
The staff is top notch and the willingness to offer new services like the Library of Things and the extensive museum pass collection.

What is your vision for the future of this library?
My vision is to make the library better every day. I hope to expand the variety in the Library of Things and work to expand the physical footprint to allow us to better serve the community.

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