The Evanston Public Library is governed by a diverse, dynamic and committed Board of Trustees. Residing in Evanston for more than 236 years the Board brings their leadership, skills and commitment to excellence in library service to their role as a governing board.
Benjamin Schapiro is the President of the Board and has been a librarian for more than 35 years, graduating from Columbia University with a Masters of Science in Library Service in 1978. During his career, he has worked in almost every major branch in the profession. Schapiro raised his two sons in Evanston; living in the City since 1981. Over the years, Ben has been active in the Dawes School PTA, on the Board of the Chute Booster Club (athletics promotion/fundraising) and served on the Chute PTA, held the office of President of the Dewey Community Conference, was an AYSO soccer coach, and is active in the Evanston Bicycle Club.
Socorro Castro is serving her first full term as a Library Trustee. Trustee Castro was born in Mexico and lived in Chicago before moving to Evanston in 1998. She has worked at the Childcare Network of Evanston since 2006. Trustee Castro has a daughter who is attending Evanston Township High School. She and her daughter have both attended St. Nicholas Church and Evanston Public Library programs since her daughter was born. Socorro places a high value on the importance of education and recognizes the critical role that the Evanston Public Library plays in providing access to reading and research materials. In her work at the Childcare Network of Evanston, Trustee Castro often provides referrals to EPL’s free resources to low income families such as income tax return preparation and legal advice.
Adam Goodman is serving his first term as a Library Trustee. An Evanston resident since 2007, he directs Northwestern University’s Center for Leadership and is a faculty member in the McCormick School of Engineering. A long time advisor to boards of directors and senior executives in industry and non-profit organizations, Trustee Goodman works with the Public Library Association to help future library leaders better understand the evolving challenges and opportunities for public libraries as well as the leadership required to advance their work. As a community volunteer, he’s also worked with the Youth Job Center and the Evanston Community Foundation, among others.
Rachel Hayman is serving her first term as a Library Trustee. She received her B.A. and M.A. in English (Phi Beta Kappa) from Indiana University. Rachel has worked as an Editor at World Book Encyclopedia and in communications, training and education at Presbyterian Homes, Evanston Township High School, and Womencare Counseling & Training Center. Rachel is a long-standing volunteer in the Evanston community, having served two four-year terms on the District 202 Board of Education, ten years on the Board of the YWCA Evanston-North Shore (and was a founding member of the YWCA’s Racial Justice Committee), and currently serves on the Youth & Opportunity United Board of Directors. As a docent for the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie, Rachel has led hundreds of school groups toward an understanding of the importance of being an “upstander” in the face of prejudice and oppression. Love of libraries runs deep in Rachel’s DNA…both her father and sister have served on their local library boards.
Ruth Hays was born and raised in Evanston and graduated from Evanston Township High School. After she received her B.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in critical theory, gender and black diaspora, she returned to Evanston to pursue graduate studies in African American Studies at Northwestern University. In addition, she works part time as a tutor at ETHS. A lifelong learner, Ruth is interested in enhancing the role that libraries play in the life of our community and making sure they serve Evanstonians throughout their lives and circumstances. She lives in South Evanston with her husband and son.
Shawn Iles is in his first term as an Evanston Public Library Trustee and is the Treasurer of the Board. He earned a Masters of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State and a Bachelor of Arts in International and Political Studies from the University of Saskatchewan. Prior to moving to Evanston in 2011, he worked at the Orange Public Library and History Center in Orange, CA. He is the stay-at-home father of four District 65 students. His volunteer work includes AYSO soccer coaching, Lincoln School Bookery, Co-Organizer of the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Evanston Producemobile, Co-President of the Lincoln School PTA (2017-18), and he is the Secretary of the Rotary Club of Evanston.
Margaret Lurie, Chair of the Fund for Excellence Fundraising Committee has a long history of community service including 20 years on the District 202 Board – with 3 terms as President. In addition to raising four children, Trustee Lurie and a friend owned and operated Possibilities, an iconic store which was located on Chicago Avenue. A graduate (Phi Beta Kappa) with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from the University of Chicago, Lurie has also taught American History at the high school level. Margaret and her husband Paul have lived in the 3rd Ward for 43 years.
Vaishali Patel is the Secretary of the Board and has a MA in International Educational Development from Teachers College, Columbia University and a BS in Education from The Ohio State University. She has taught history classes at high schools in Cincinnati, Ohio, Indianapolis, Indiana and New York City. Vaishali is currently a teacher at ETHS working with the AVID program. She has a variety of community service experience and most recently helped launch the Books and Breakfast program at Kingsley elementary. She has a daughter that attends Haven Middle School and a son at ETHS. Her husband an ETHS alum, their two children and Vaishali are proud to call Evanston home and have been residents since 2010.