By Mary Getchell, Communications Director
Robert Allen, a Community Researcher/Policy Analyst for Pierce County, is a new Board of Trustee member for Pierce County Library System.
“Robert’s professional and personal background will bring great guidance for the future of library service,” said Neel Parikh, executive director of the Library System. “His experience working with communities, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and governments will bring a valued voice and perspective to our already strong, diverse Board of Trustees.”
Allen, a Gig Harbor resident, has worked for Pierce County since 1998, researching and analyzing demographic and economic data to build and support communities. He has also worked on policy issues considered by the Washington state legislature.
His work has helped found several nonprofit organizations, including Sustainable Pierce County, The Rainier Discovery Center and Visit Rainier. Allen also served on the Pierce County FARM Board, advising the Pierce County Council on agricultural policy issues.
“Since I got my first library card as a child, I have valued the public library as a storehouse of ideas that were all accessible to me—and others. My library card was and is a passport to a whole other universe,” said Allen. “It is an honor to use my experience in public policy development and analysis to help keep and strengthen our libraries as a leading, valued asset.”
Allen will be part of a five-member board with policy and fiscal responsibility to provide library services and programs to the 560,000 people in the Library System’s service area. Trustees’ responsibilities include:
- Setting Library System goals and objectives.
- Approving annual budgets.
- Adopting policies.
- Studying community needs and interests and ensuring the Library is meeting them.
- Advocating for the Library.
The Library System is not a part of Pierce County government. By state law, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy appointed Allen and the Pierce County Council ratified the appointment. Other Library Board of Trustees include J.J. McCament, chair; Steve Albers, vice chair; Linda Ishem and Allen Rose. Trustees are non-paid positions.