Wight, Twarog win reelection as Forbes Library trustees; Prabhaker fills open seat on board

  • Forbes Library in Northampton. STAFF FILE PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/5/2019 11:45:22 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Incumbents Katy Wight and Joseph Twarog will continue as trustees for the Forbes Library for another four years, with an open four-year seat to be filled by Emily Prabhaker, based on results of the city election Tuesday.

“I’m really excited,” Wight said in a phone interview as unofficial numbers showed her leading the field of five candidates with 3,137 votes.

As chairwoman of the strategic planning committee, Wight said she looks forward to supporting staff and the library director as a five-year planning effort continues into its third year.

In addition, Wight said because she is the trustees liaison to the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Library, she will push for initiatives to publicize and draw attention to the site.

“We’re trying to breath new life into the museum,” Wight said.

Twarog tallied 2,270 votes to finish second and keep his seat. Twarog said he is glad to serve in the role, and welcomed Prabhaker to the board.

“It will be good to have some new blood,” Twarog said.

Twarog said he enjoys the work at the Forbes, which he described as a dynamic library, and where he has been on the capital planning committee that assists in maintaining the building and grounds.

It was from those grounds that four chairs were stolen in July. Twarog remains curious about their whereabouts. “I’m still looking for those Adriondack chairs,” he said.

Prabhaker received 1,591 votes, more than the 1,483 for Maxine Schmidt, a retired University of Massachusetts reference librarian, and the 1,415 for Leslie Skantz-Hodgson, a librarian at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School.

Prabhaker, the school librarian at the Smith College Campus School, said in an email that she is elated to serve as a trustee for a place she believes in deeply, and looks forward to dedicating time and energy to it.

“I feel incredibly privileged to be in such a position and mainly humbled and grateful to each of the people who voted for me,” Prabhaker said.

Skantz-Hodgson said even though she didn’t get elected, she believes Forbes is in good hands and that each of the newcomers vying for the seat vacated by Elaine Reall brings skills in the library field.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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