Welcome New Trustees!

Exciting news! We have three new friendly faces joining The Davenport Public Library Board of Trustees!

On June 12th, Major Mike Matson appointed Honey Bedell, Bob Davis, and Jerry Skalak with confirmation by the Davenport City Council. They officially started their new roles on July 1st. These new additions come as we say goodbye to our long-time Trustees: Steve Imming, Judie Lance, and Sylvia Roba, who have made a huge impact on The Library.

Our Board of Trustees play a crucial role in governing and setting policies for Davenport Public Library. Made up of nine community members who serve 6-year terms, the Trustees are responsible for advocating for The Library, planning for its future, evaluating its effectiveness, adopting governance policies, and overseeing the Library Director.

The Library Board of Trustees meet monthly on the third Tuesday at noon at the Main Library, and are open to the public. You can find past and upcoming meeting agendas and minutes on The Library’s website. Meetings are also recorded and posted online. Trustees follow a Code of Ethics and complete annual education requirements to ensure The Library’s continued success.

While we will miss Steve, Judie, and Sylvia, we are thrilled to welcome Honey, Bob, and Jerry as the newest guardians of your public library. Here’s to a bright future ahead!

Honey Bedell

Honey held a leadership position at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges (EICC) for 32 years, with 27 of those years spent working closely with the EICC Board of Trustees. She retired in June 2023 as Chief of Staff. Her experience includes strategic planning, professional development, legislative advocacy, marketing, and communications. A lifelong volunteer, she has been actively involved in numerous community organizations and continues to serve in volunteer roles with the FRIENDS of the Davenport Public Library, River Bend Food Bank, and Davenport Community School District. She and her husband, Daniel, have been married for 31 years and are proud parents of two grown sons who graduated from Davenport Schools.

Bob Davis

Bob, the Outreach Program Manager at Community Health Care, plays a key role in providing healthcare to individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as those in shelters, treatment centers, and correctional facilities. Previously, he spent sixteen years counseling teenagers at Valley Shelter Homes before transitioning into the position of Assistant Director. Bob began his career as a practicum student at St. Ambrose while pursuing a degree in Psychology/Sociology. With over nineteen years of experience at Community Health Care, Bob is deeply connected to the community and possesses valuable resources that he hopes to bring to the Board, particularly to advocate for people of color.

Jerry Skalak

Jerry has been residing in Davenport since 1988. His wife is a retired music teacher and they have three grown children. He holds degrees in Geography and Water Resources Management. Jerry worked for over 30 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and has also worked as an adjunct professor for Scott Community College. He is actively involved with RiverAction’s annual Upper Mississippi River conference and volunteers with Living Lands and Waters, Humility Homes and Services, and Nahant Marsh. Additionally, he is a member of many Quad Cities quality of life assets, including the Figge, GAHC, QC Botanical, and more.

Puzzled: A Memoir about Growing Up with OCD by Pan Cooke

Readers looking for insight on what it’s like growing up with undiagnosed OCD should read Puzzled: A Memoir about Growing Up with OCD by Pan Cooke. Pan shares his story from different stages of childhood with a pop-in from adult Pan at the end. This was a lovely, openminded read about one person’s journey growing up with OCD.

Pan is ten years old when the anxious thoughts start to take over. They rule his brain like puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit together or ones that are missing entirely. Pan has become an impossible puzzle that he can’t figure out. As he works to find answers to the swirling thoughts in his brain, he is bombarded by repeating questions and fears that can only be pacified through repeated rituals that take time to go through. His compulsions being to impact his ability to do his normal tasks. His friendships start fading, his anxiety ratchets up, and Pan is left at a loss of what to do.

After living for years with no answers, Pan learns that he has obsessive compulsive disorder. His anxious thoughts, missing puzzle pieces, and his attempts to solve the mess he feels are all evidence that he has OCD. This middle grade graphic memoir shows Pan’s journey from living with OCD to learning about OCD and what he can do to help quiet his thoughts.

While I enjoyed this middle grade graphic memoir, I was left wanting more. Many of my favorite graphic memoirs that discuss mental health list resources and sources of information in the back. While I understand that this is a graphic memoir for kids, I still would have liked some resources, websites, or organizations presented. Even though these were absent, Pan’s evolving relationships with his friends, family, doctors, and therapist all modeled changing ties between others, as well as positive and negative relationships. Showing Pan working through his thoughts on his own, while trying to find paths that worked for him and help, was very realistic. All in all, I’m glad I decided to pick up this book as Pan was incredibly candid and open about his mental health.