Board Members

Our board of directors consists of volunteers elected to three year terms. Each of our board members brings a love for the library and a vast array of professional experience. Composed of people who feel a strong commitment to serve the mission of the Friends, they lean on their expertise and passion to guide the organization toward fulfilling its mission, participate in monthly board meetings, and chair and serve on committees. To learn more about joining the board click here.

Roberta Isleib

Robert Isleib has served as the president of the Friends of the Key West Library since 2020. She also chairs the Speaker Series committee. She served a previous term on the Friends’ board from 2013-2019, working on the speaker series and producing the newsletter. As Lucy Burdette, she writes the Key West food critic mystery series, including A CLUE IN THE CRUMBS. Before turning to writing, she worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Connecticut.

Patricia Kennedy
Vice President

Patricia Kennedy is a retired marketing communications executive who has had a lifelong passion for libraries. As a youngster, Pat often biked to the local library in Kansas City, MO to spend summer afternoons reading age-appropriate books and sneaking around the stacks of adult books for a “better read.”  She currently serves the Friends of the Key West Library as board vice-president. She has several library cards including the Boston Public Library, The Boston Athenaeum, and the Plymouth, MA Library. 

Pat also runs a bed and breakfast at Long Pond, MA and Key West, FL for grandchildren, other relatives, and friends. Rooms are fully booked for the foreseeable future.

Ellen Cavanaugh

Ellen Cavanaugh serves as secretary of the Friends of the Library and is a member of the Executive and Marketing & Membership committees. She completed a successful 40 year career as a utility executive and attorney. She and her husband divide their time between Key West and Philadelphia and State College, PA. In addition to the Friends, they are members of the Studios of Key West, Tropic Cinema, the Key West Art & Historical Society, and the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden. They can always be found in the library’s Palm Garden on Monday evenings enjoying the Friends’ Speaker Series!

Wendy Niven

Wendy Niven has been a full-time and part-time resident of Key West since 4th grade at May Sands Elementary, when it served the kids living in Bay Point. When she moved back to Key West in the early 70’s, one of her first actions was getting a library card, which she has held for all those years. After retiring as the CIO for a county Mental Health program in Michigan, she became a part-time resident, and began volunteering at the Library. She joined the Board in 2018, and currently serves as treasurer. She’d like you all to know that your membership donations all go directly to support the activities of the Key West Library.

Wendy Allen
Board Member

Wendy Allen serves on the Marketing, Advocacy & Outreach, and Technology committees. For the past several years she has worked at the Waterfront Playhouse as the house manager, where she  schedules and coordinates the volunteer ushers. She has lived in Key West full time since 2017 after retiring from the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore Maryland.

Emily Berg
Board Member

Emily Berg is a graduate of the University of Puget Sound where she studied art with an emphasis on steel sculpture. After graduating in 2007 she moved to Juneau, AK where she worked in the nonprofit world for several years before returning to the lower-48 to be closer to family. Originally from Minneapolis, she moved to Key West in 2013 from Chicago. She has been the manager of Books & Books at the Studios since 2018. She serves on the Speaker Series committee of the Friends of the Key West Library board of directors.

Betty Darst
Board Member

Betty Darst serves on the Friends’ Advocacy & Outreach and Book Sales committees. You will see her greeting you at the gate during the Speaker Series. She researched 50 years of history for the Friends. As a resident of Key West, Betty is an active community volunteer. She formerly lived in Dayton, Ohio. Active in aviation, she serves as emeritus for the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Betty is known for her historical reenactments, especially the story of the Wright Brothers. Prior to retirement she directed library media programs in a city school district in Ohio.

Demaris Edwards
Board Member

Demaris Edwards is the chair of the Friends’ Book Sales committee. She uses her expertise in inventory control to keep the selection of books fresh. She resides in Key West after 20 years of “visiting”.

Stephanie Gordon
Board Member

A love for the library and the unmatched joy of carrying a pile of freshly checked out books drives Stephanie’s work on the board. Stephanie holds a masters degree in management from the University of Florida. Serving on the Technology and Advocacy & Outreach committees, she is passionate about creating every opportunity to bring library joy to everyone. Stephanie works as a real estate professional, business and marketing consultant, podcaster, and Key West content creator spreading the love and stories of this little island to everyone. In her free time Stephanie loves spending time in the library’s history center researching the people and properties of Key West past.

Annette Holmstrom
Board Member

Annette Holmstrom serves on the Friends’ Marketing & Membership and Book Sales committees, and runs the Friends’ Facebook and Ebay used book sales online pages. She served as a public school educator for 40 years, and has lived in Key West part of every year since 2004.

Megan McDowell
Board Member

Megan McDowell serves on the Speaker Series committee. She has lived in Key West full time for 8 years where she is a Realtor with the ShineGroup at eXp Realty. Beyond her successful career in real estate, Megan is an active member of the community. She currently serves on the board of the Key West Association of Realtors, the Friends of the Key West Library, the Anne McKee Artists Fund, and the Key West Rotary Club. In her spare time, Megan enjoys reading, soaking up the sun on sandbars, and exploring Key West on her bike.

Betsy Moore
Board Member

Betsy Moore chairs the Friends’ Advocacy & Outreach Committee and leads the unofficial Palm Garden restoration efforts. Past involvement with the Friends included chairing the Book Sales committee and being the secretary of the organization. She is also a weekly volunteer for the SOS Foundation at the Callahan Community Kitchen. After visiting for 15 years, she became a full time resident of Key West in 2017.

Barbara Ross
Board Member

Barbara Ross serves on the Friends’ Marketing & Membership, Speakers Series, and Technology committees, where she is chair. She is the author of the Maine Clambake Mystery series and in a previous life served as Chief Operating Officer for companies in educational technology. She has been in Key West for a part of every year since her parents first came here in 1991.

Nancy Seidel
Board Member

Nancy Seidel serves on the Friends’ Book Sales committee and is chair of the Volunteer committee. Prior to becoming a board member, she was chosen as the Friends’ 2020 Unsung Hero. Nancy is a graduate of the City of Key West’s Ambassador Academy Program. She is a longtime resident of Key West.

Mary Ann Westerlund
Board Member

Mary Ann Westerlund, a twenty six year full-time resident, moved to Key West from New York City. She was an RN at New York University Medical Center.

Mary Ann is always interested in volunteering and is particularly passionate the value of education and a community-oriented local public library.

Ellen T. White
Board Member

Ellen T. White, a board member of the Friends of the Key West Library since 2021, serves on the Speaker Series and Technology committees and is editor of the Friends newsletter. For a good portion of her misspent life, she was the managing editor of The New York Public Library, responsible for the launch of a quarterly magazine and a host of other written materials. She is the author of “Simply Irresistible,” a book about the great romantic women of history, as well as an illustrated history of Key West, due out in 2024. She writes freelance for a variety of publications including The Key West Citizen.

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