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Regents Appoint Kate Hammill, Shakema Miller, Jesse Montero, and Maria Fernanda Pardo to Advisory Council on Libraries

December 13, 2022

At their December meeting, the New York State Board of Regents appointed Kate Hammill, Shakema Miller, Jesse Montero, and Maria Fernanda Pardo to the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries. Hammill’s appointment fills a vacant seat; her interim term begins immediately and will end December 31, 2023. Miller, Montero, and Pardo fill five-year terms beginning immediately and ending December 31, 2027. 

  • Kate Hammill (Newark) is the School Library System Director at Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES, where she works to support 25 component school districts and school libraries in Wayne, Ontario, Seneca and Yates counties. As a School Library System Director, Katherine has learned to navigate the complex systems and services that represent technology, student learning, and digital inclusion in the Finger Lakes region. Katherine worked to develop consistent, equitable and regional approaches to library services, systems and programs that allow students and staff to engage with technology as safe and socially conscious digital citizens in local, regional and global communities. Katherine’s core belief in the right for people to learn and grow has led her to pursue a Doctorate in Education in Human Development at the University of Rochester. As a student at the Warner School of Education, her work with data and research has brought an added layer of knowledge and expertise to her role as an administrator, as does her holistic philosophy towards education that considers social, cultural and familial contexts as they relate to learning and development over the lifespan. 
  • Shakema Miller (Uniondale) is the Outreach and Partnership Specialist for the Nassau Library System.  Shakema is a librarian, data analyst and project manager with over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. In her current role Shakema initiates and maintains active relationships with agencies serving and advocating for vulnerable populations and underserved communities to foster partnership, promote collaboration, and broaden awareness of library services. Shakema holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Medgar Evers College, an MLIS from Drexel University, and a Certificate in Public Library Administration from Long Island University. 
  • Jesse Montero (Yonkers) is the Director of the Yonkers Public Library. Jesse began his library career at Brooklyn Public Library in 2005, starting as a librarian trainee and taking on progressively responsible positions there until being named the Director of their central library in 2016. In the four years he served in that position he oversaw the daily operations of a 350,000 square foot landmark library and introduced numerous collections, technology, and space use projects. In 2020, he was hired as Director of Yonkers Public Library. In this role, he provides vision and oversight for library services in New York State's third largest city. Immediately after joining YPL, he developed an adaptive plan of service for the COVID-19 pandemic. Since fully reopening, he has led the library through reorganization and improvement plans at each of the library’s three facilities; the redesign process for a new logo and website (currently underway); the launch of new partnerships, programs and services; and the introduction of new technologies and workflows to improve operations. 
  • María Fernanda Pardo (Glen Cove) is the Literacy Department Head for Glen Cove Public Library. María is a bilingual Spanish-English speaking public librarian who believes that providing education to impoverished and immigrant communities is the key to radical change. She graduated from Queens Library as a Public Librarian and a certified archivist in 2012, and currently works at the Glen Cove Public Library as the Literacy Department Head, serving a large immigrant population. Over the past ten years, she created a volunteer-based literacy program tailored to the limited space available in the library and developed programs that have strengthened the immigrant community. Named as a 2020 Mover & Shaker by Library Journal, and as the 2022 Outstanding Librarian for the Long Island Region, her work helping the community of the City of Glen Cove has contributed to new high school graduates, new citizens, better jobs for students, and a closer-knit immigrant community. Her work during the pandemic has been featured in local newspapers and recognized by leaders across the state. 

Other members of the Council are:  Meg Backus (Vice-Chair), Potsdam; Tatiana Bryant, New York City; Greta Byrum, Beacon; AnnaLee Dragon, Guilderland; Sandra Michele Echols, New York City; Chancey Fleet, New York City; Miranda Mims, Rochester; Dr. Beth Patin, Syracuse; Grace Riario, Middletown (Chair); Dr. Jamie D. Smith, Buffalo; and Alicia Thompson, West Seneca.

The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries works with the officers of the State Education Department in developing comprehensive statewide library and information policy and makes recommendations to the Regents concerning the implementation of the program. The Council is broadly representative of libraries and statewide constituencies served by the New York State Library. For more information about the Regents Advisory Council, visit the State Library’s website at Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (RAC).

Nominations for future appointments to the Council are welcomed by the State Education Department. They should be sent to the Office of the State Librarian, New York State Library, Room 10C34 Cultural Education Center, Albany, New York 12230; or emailed to