FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Washington, DC—Yesterday, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer administered the oath of office to five individuals who will serve on the National Museum and Library Services Board. The board is the advisory body for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Althemese Pemberton Barnes, Vishakha Desai, Tammie Kahn, George Kerscher, and Jacquelyn K. Sundstrand were appointed by President Barack Obama. Members of the board are selected based on their expertise and commitment to libraries or museums.
IMLS Director Susan Hildreth said, "We welcome the collective experience and knowledge our newest members will bring to the board. Their service on the National Museum and Library Services Board will help keep libraries and museums at the forefront of the movement to create a nation of learners. The IMLS staff and I look forward to working with them."
Althemese Pemberton Barnes is the executive director of the John G. Riley Museum, which she founded in 1996. In 1997, she established the Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network, a statewide professional museum association. She served in Florida’s Departments of Education and Labor as an employment counselor and program specialist, retiring in 1995. From 1965 to 1970, she was a music instructor in the Leon County Schools in Tallahassee, Florida. She has worked as a consultant on several oral history and cultural development projects, and directed the publication of historical books, heritage trail maps, guides, and documentaries. She is a member of the American Alliance of Museums, the Florida Heritage Foundation, the Florida Association of Museums, the Association of African American Museums, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Ms. Barnes received a B.S. and an M.S. from Florida A&M University.
Vishakha Desai is special advisor for global affairs to President Lee Bollinger of Columbia University and professor of practice at its School of International and Public Affairs. She is senior advisor to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation for global policy and programs, and president emerita of Asia Society, an organization she led for the last eight years. From 1977 to 1990, Dr. Desai worked at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in a variety of roles, ultimately serving as assistant curator of Indian, Southeast Asia, and Islamic collections (1981-1990) and as the head of academic programs (1981-1988). Dr. Desai has been a visiting professor at numerous universities and was an assistant and associate professor at the University of Massachusetts from 1988 to 1990. Dr. Desai is on the board of the Brookings Institution and is an advisor and reviewer for the New York City Advisory Commission for Cultural Affairs. She served as the president of the Association of Art Museum Directors from 1998 to 1999 and was on the boards of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc., Asian University for Women, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities. Dr. Desai received a B.A. from Bombay University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
Tammie Kahn is the Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Houston, a position she has held since 1995. In this role, she has overseen an expansion of the museum and the creation of an Institute for Family Learning. She is a past President of the Houston Museum District Association and served as the Associate Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She has served on the boards of the Association of Children’s Museums, the Institute for Learning Innovation, the Greater Houston Collaborative for Children, and the Houston Holocaust Museum. Ms. Kahn received a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.B.A. from the University of Houston.
George Kerscher is Secretary General of the DAISY Consortium, an international organization dedicated to facilitating access to information for persons with disabilities. He is President of the International Digital Publishing Forum, Senior Officer of Accessible Technology at Learning Ally, and a member of the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard Board. He was named an Innovator of the Year by U.S. News and World Report in 1998, received the Harry Murphy Catalyst Award in 2004, and was recognized as a White House Champion of Change in 2012. Mr. Kerscher received a B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University.
Jacquelyn K. Sundstrand is an associate professor at the University of Nevada, Reno and the Manuscripts and Archives Librarian in the University Libraries’ Special Collections Department. She was the Library and Archives Coordinator at the Southern Oregon Historical Society from 1993 to 2001 and the Special Collections Librarian and Archivist at California State University, Dominquez Hill from 1985 to 1993. She is a member of the Nevada State Historic Resources Advisory Board, the Society of American Archivists, the Society of California Archivists, the Conference of Intermountain Archivists, and the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress. Ms. Sundstrand received a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton, an M.S.L.S. from the University of Southern California, and an M.A. from the University of California, Riverside.
The newly confirmed board members replace Christina Orr-Cahall, Ioannis Miaoulis, Julia Bland, Jan Celluci, and Mark Herring, whose terms have expired.
About the National Museum and Library Services Board
The National Museum and Library Services Board is an advisory body that includes the director and deputy directors of Institute of Museum and Library Service and twenty presidentially appointed members of the general public who have demonstrated expertise in, or commitment to, library or museum services. Informed by its collectively vast experience and knowledge, the Board advises the IMLS director on general policy and practices, and on selections for the National Medals for Museum and Library Service.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.