RANCHO SANTA FE — At the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild’s annual meeting on May 24, Executive Director Susan Appleby conveyed her appreciation for outgoing guild board President Art Yayanos. She recognized his service to the community for the past five years.
“You’ve been a very strong advocate for progress at this branch,” she said. “You have made my job so much easier. Your quiet strength is such strong leadership in a way that I’m not sure most people recognize.”
Appleby went on to say how Yayanos has teed the guild up for the next 50 years and thanked him for that. Appleby then turned to introduce new the new guild board president. Mary Siegrist, who has experience in the information services industry, will start in July.
Appleby also noted Siegrist is a volunteer at the Book Cellar, a used bookstore operated by the library guild. She is also a lifelong reader.
“I am personally grateful to her for her commitment to serve and lead the guild for the next three years,” Appleby said.
Siegrist told the members of the guild in the audience that she was honored and humbled to be their president for the next three years.
“I have never been a board president of a nonprofit board before, so I will learn along with the steps that Art has actually provided in his example,” she said. “I know we have a lot of indebtedness to Art, but I also want to mention a few things that I think that Art has contributed to this library.”
Siegrist pointed out Yayanos’ leadership, kindness and professionalism. She also noted how he created the executive director operational type of model being used today at the guild by Appleby. Before this, it was all volunteer-based.
“Art has been so involved in the grants and the ADA compliance aspect of our library,” she said, also adding the work he did on the bylaws, articles of incorporation and new library brand.
The brand changed from the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild to the Library Guild of Rancho Santa Fe. The guild lost money with the old name when checks were issued as the Rancho Santa Fe Library with the “guild” portion being left out. Many times, this money was instead deposited to the San Diego County Library other than the Rancho Santa Fe Library Guild. The new branding name intends to fix this issue.
“Finally, Art built a great board of directors — that makes my job so much easier because of the board that he had,” Siegrist said. “So, I’m very grateful.”
She went on to say that she didn’t have a lot of goals, only a few to start with. The first was to continue moving forward with the guild’s path of progress.
“We have a wonderful 50-year history,” she said. “I think that all of us are very committed to serving our community of readers and our patrons are very, very generous guild members and benefactors.”
Siegrist shared how the guild goes above and beyond what the county of San Diego provides such as the children’s programs, author talks and special events. All of these things will continue, she said.
“The map has been already laid out, and I’m just going to follow the map,” she said. “We have an amazing, remarkable facility here, and it’s been maintained beautifully — we want to continue with and want to enhance it based off of community feedback and community engagement.”
Siegrist also highlighted the great San Diego County librarians who work at their branch.
“We are very, very grateful for them,” she said. “They’re (librarians) wonderful people.”
Siegrist said their board of directors was fantastic and so were the volunteers. She went on to say that because of the volunteers, they were able to do these special events and champion the Book Cellar. Without the volunteers, she said she really didn’t know if they could.
“It’s nice to be stepping down as a president of an organization to know that someone who’s coming behind you is going to be fantastic,” Yayanos said.