MHLS Advisory Committees

MHLS Advisory Committees discuss issues and make recommendations to the MHLS Directors Association

There are 2 members from each county on each of the 3 advisory committees. Membership for each of the committees is chosen by each county’s directors association. Committee membership terms are 4 years. To ensure leadership is present, terms are staggered so the entire committee will not roll over at one time.

For the most up-to-date meeting schedule check the MHLS web calendar.

System Services Advisory Committee

Committee Charge: The charge to the MHLS System Services Advisory Committee is to represent MHLS member library interests by collaborating with System staff and Board in determining services and how they are funded. Activities include:

  • Review and recommend changes in member services
  • Review and recommend changes in member assessments
  • Assist in the evaluation of System Services



2024 – email the committee

  • Chair: Johanna Reinhardt (Cold Spring)
  • Secretary (takes minutes of SSAC meetings): Matt Pavloff (Kinderhook)
  • Columbia County:  Matt Pavloff (2023) & Thea Schoep (2025)
  • Dutchess County: Carol Fortier (2025) & Mary De Bellis (2027)
  • Greene County: Catherine Benson (2027) & Christopher Leary (2025)
  • Putnam County: Michele Capozella (2027) & Johanna Reinhardt (2025)
  • Ulster County: Julie Kelsall-Dempsey (2027) & Margie Menard (2025)
  • Staff: Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (MHLS), Laurie Shedrick (MHLS)

History: The first meeting of the System Services Advisory Committee took place on July 24, 2013. Prior to that the System Funding Task Force (TF) & the System Services Ad Hoc (AH) met on related topics. Those minutes appear below.

  • System Finding Task Force: Created in 2008 by volunteer Directors to propose a fee structure for funding 2010 and beyond.
  • System Services Ad Hoc: Created at the end of 2010 by volunteer Directors. M. Advocate DA report: “In order for MHLS to operate within its projected diminished budget, changes are necessary and services will be impacted. We look forward to working with this committee as we reevaluate services, determine how we can be better, and redesign how best to provide the unique support members rely on.”
  • 2013: Mar 8 (AH) | Apr 5 (combined AH & TF) | May 2 (combined AH & TF) | Jun 3 (combined AH & TF)
  • 2012: Mar 7 (TF) | May 15 (TF) | Jun 19 (TF) | Sep 14 (AH) | Oct 10 (AH)
  • 2011: Jan 5 (AH) | Feb 24 (AH) | Jun 21 (AH)
  • 2010: Feb 8 (TF) | Mar 22 (TF) | Apr 13 (TF) | Dec 22 (TF)
  • 2009: May 26 (TF) | Jul 9 (TF) | Jul 31 (TF) | Sep 30 (TF) | Dec 4 (AH) | Dec 22 (TF)

Central Library/Collection Development Advisory Committee

Committee Charge: The charge to the Central Library/Collection Development Advisory Committee is to oversee Central Reference services and to ensure that system-wide collections & resources are comprehensive & responsive to patron needs. Activities include:



2024 – email the committee

  • Chairperson: Daniela Pulice (Pleasant Valley)
  • Secretary: Emily Chameides (Hudson)
  • Columbia County: Emily Chameides (2025) & Amanda Merk (2027)
  • Dutchess County: Daniela Pulice (2027) & Courtney Tsahalis (2025)
  • Greene County: Catherine Benson (2025) & Corinne Tatavitto (2027)
  • Putnam County: Carol Donick (2025) & Amina Chaudhri (2027)
  • Ulster County: Ivy Gocker (2025) & Jesse Chance (2027)
  • Ex Officio: Tom Lawrence, Director, Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Central Reference Library
  • Staff: Staff: Rebekkah Smith Aldrich (MHLS), Laurie Shedrick (MHLS)

Resource Sharing Advisory Committee

Committee Charge: The Resource Sharing Advisory Committee is charged to establish best practices and procedures related to the sharing of resources among libraries and to recommend relevant policies to the Directors’ Association. Activities include:

  • Review Resource Sharing policies, procedures, and practices related to the shared ILS
  • Review/edit the “Resource Sharing Standards”
  • Address concerns submitted by member libraries pertaining to resource sharing among libraries



2024 – email the committee

  • Chairperson: Carol Bancroft (Clinton Community)
  • Secretary: TBD
  • Columbia County: Linda Holik (2027) & Michelle Hoffman (2025)
  • Dutchess County: Tom Lawrence (2027) & Carol Bancroft (2025)
  • Greene County: Julian Giarraputo (2027) & Jaki Elmo-Emel (2025)
  • Putnam County: Donnae Perolli (2027) & Gina Loprinzo (2025)
  • Ulster County: Darren Lanspery (2027) & Jennifer Russel (2025)
  • Staff: Laurie Shedrick (MHLS)

Ad Hoc OverDrive Committee

Committee Charge: An ad hoc committee, with representation across the advisory committees and counties, to develop a recommended strategy, which may include a survey of member library directors, on purchasing standards for both digital and e-resources.



2024 – email the committee

  • Columbia County: Tamara Gaskell, Tobi Farley, Matthew Pavloff
  • Dutchess County: Carol Fortier, Carol Bancroft, Donna Perolli, Mary DeBellis, Courtney Tsahalis, Daniela Pulice
  • Greene County: Catherine Benson, Jen Grounds
  • Putnam County: Stephanie Harrison, Michele Capozzella, Donna Perolli
  • Ulster County: Julie Kelsall-Dempsey, Katie Scott-Childress

Responsibilities of Members of Advisory Committees

Responsibilities of MHLS Advisory Committee Members:

  • Fully participate in committee activities by attending meetings and conducting business by telephone and written communications.
  • Act in good faith and in accordance with what they believe to be in the best interest of the members and resources of the Mid-Hudson Library System.
  • Problem solve as a group.
  • Publicly disclose any actual or perceived conflicts of interest and not vote on such committee matters.
  • Be aware of (through attendance, review of minutes), and able to discuss issues directed to the committee by the Directors Association.
  • Decide as a group what actions will go on the Director’s Association agenda.
  • Represent their county and bring committee issues to that forum.

Responsibilities of the MHLS Advisory Committee Chair and Vice Chair: The advisory committee chair and vice chair, working in partnership, are responsible to facilitate the work of the committee, provide oversight and ensure timely communications within the committee and between the committee and the other components of the Mid-Hudson Library System. To do this they:

  • Prepare the agenda including topics of current concern as well as topics that have been referred to the committee.
  • Keep the work of the committee focused on charges from the Executive Director and the Directors Association, and aligned with the MHLS Plan of Service.
  • Keep the groups attention focused on what needs to be done.
  • Keep discussions on track: periodically restate the issue and the goal of the discussion.
  • Guide, mediate, probe and stimulate discussion.
  • Direct the group and manage the problem-solving process.
  • Use well-placed questions, seek points of information and clarification, and periodically summarize to keep the discussion focused.
  • Help to resolve conflict.
  • Establish relationships among committee members ideas.
  • Promote group discussion by asking for facts, opinions, and suggestions.
  • Monitor participation: control talkative members and draw out silent members.
  • Ensure that the meeting stays on schedule, that breaks are taken, and that the meeting adjourns on time.
  • Close the meeting by noting achievements.
  • Review action items from the previous meeting and ensure completion.

Additional Responsibilities of the Chair:

  • Give committee meeting report at Directors Association meetings. If the chair will not be at the DA meeting, it is their responsibility to arrange with another committee member to give the committee meeting report.

Additional Responsibilities of the Vice Chair:

  • Ensure the committee actions and achievements can be tracked through minutes, and that actions for the Director’s Association agenda are clearly designated.
  • Send minutes to be posted to the website.
  • Get those items that the committee decided to send to the DA into the DA meeting packet.