The Government Relations Committee develops the OLC legislative platform, analyzes legislative issues that could potentially impact Ohio’s public libraries and the customers they serve, and advises staff the advocacy strategy to serve the best interest of Ohio’s public library community.
Andrew Mangels, Chair (2024)
Westlake-Porter Public Library
Paula Brehm-Heeger (2025)
Cincinnati & Hamilton County Public Library
Karl Colon (2023)
Greene County Public Library
Anastasia Diamond-Ortiz (2023)
Lorain Public Library
Pamela Hickson-Stevenson (2023)
Akron-Summit County Public Library
James Hill (2025)
Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library
Jason Kucsma (2024)
Toledo Lucas County Public Library
Chris May (2025)
Mansfield/Richland County Public Library
Nieca Nowels (2023)
Marysville Public Library
Work: 937-642-1876 x33
Michael Penrod (2024)
Wood County District Public Library
Sandi Thompson (2024)
Puskarich Public Library
Meredith Wickham (2024)
Southwest Public Libraries
Work: 614-875-6716 119
Jim Wilkins (2025)
Warren-Trumbull County Public Library
Work: 330-399-8807 x124
Wendy Knapp, ExOfficio (2023)
State Library of Ohio
Donald Yarman, ExOfficio (2023)
Board Liaison: Cheryl Kuonen
Staff Liaison: Jay Smith
Purpose and Objectives
The primary function of the Government Relations Committee is to serve in the best interest of Ohio’s public library community in regards to all legal and legislative matters.
To that end, the GRC:
- Maintains a legislative network to work with library directors around the state to ensure a complete and consistent local grassroots advocacy effort.
- Monitors and examines all information that has the potential to impact the Public Library Fund, supporting any issue that would increase state funding for public libraries.
- Makes recommendations to the Ohio Library Council Board of Directors regarding legislation to be submitted to the Ohio General Assembly.
- Explores collaboration opportunities that will lead to more efficient and effective public library service.
- Strongly supports the State Library of Ohio and OPLIN and their efforts to provide services to Ohio’s public libraries.
- Reviews proposed changes to the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS), supporting legislation which ensures stability of the fund while maintaining fair benefit levels, and communicating as much information as possible regarding OPERS to all OLC members.