Board of Directors

Karen Eldridge - President

Karen Eldridge_July 2015 for OLI am a native Californian (Stanford) who moved to Chapel Hill when I was in junior high. After graduating from Chapel Hill High School I attended Emory University in Atlanta and remained in the Atlanta area for 22 years. I briefly lived in Charleston, SC and circled back to NC in 2006. I live in Carrboro and delight in living one door away from my father.

I grew up in a family of readers. We were never far away from a book no matter where we were. I have fond recollections of how exciting it was to “help” my mother when I was a preschooler as she volunteered in the library of our local elementary school, shelving and unpacking books. As a teacher in the inner-city Atlanta area, the favorite part of my day was when I read out loud to my students and helped them develop a love of reading.

I have 22 years of teaching and administrative experience in public schools in the Atlanta area, with 17 of those years as an elementary, middle, and high school principal; primarily in urban locations. I also served as a lecturer at several colleges in the areas of middle grades education and educational leadership, on the advisory board for the Principals’ Center at Georgia State University, and as a fellow in the Principals’ Academy at GSU, mentoring beginning principals. After leaving Atlanta I was an Achievement Vice-President for an educational consulting group, supporting elementary, middle, high school and district leaders in rural South Carolina. In 2007 I founded my own consulting firm, and currently provide customized consulting, coaching, and mentoring services for school administrators, school districts and other organizations to support them in their achievement and reform efforts. I am a First Response Volunteer at the Compass Center for Women and Families and a board member and treasurer for Threshold Singers, a small nonprofit that offers singing at no cost to calm and comfort those on the thresholds of life in Orange, Durham and Chatham Counties.

Bernard Glassman - Vice President

As a high school student I tutored ABE students. Got my undergraduate degree in English from the University of Oklahoma, financed in part by a stint as a juvenile parole officer who, to the amusement of his colleagues, tutored parolees in English and Math. Took a Master’s in Teaching of English from the University of Washington, where I was a TA in the minority English program. My UW doctoral dissertation (Thoreau) was interrupted by a trip to SE Asia. By the time I returned stateside a PhD was the last thing I wanted. I had started doing social advocacy video in about 1970, when portable video recorders weighed a “light” 20 lbs. Proselytized for in-school video and computers in 1974 as a Washington Intern in Education at the National Institute of Education on a Ford Foundation Fellowship. Consulted with the federal government for about 15 years, during which time I taught myself to program and developed an expert system for (inter alia) explaining medical test results to low health-literacy patients. This technique (tailored health communication) led to several successful (and some not-so-successful) business ventures, the directorship of the Office of Consumer Health Informatics at the National Cancer Institute, and a 6-year teaching gig with Harvard’s School of Public Health. Most recently I co-founded The Walking Classroom (for 4th- and 5th-graders) with Laura Fenn, an amazing former 5th-grade teacher. I’m now looking into applying the same methods (Walk. Listen. Learn.™) for seniors like me. I’m married to Barbara Rimer, dean of UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and a research partner in the old days. We have two Labs, Faulkner and Dickens.

Evan Gywn - Secretary

fy16-evan gwynBorn and bred an Orange County Tarheel, I developed a love for reading and writing as a student at Frank Porter Graham Elementary. I graduated from Chapel Hill High School in the first class of the new millennium, and graduated from UNC with a major in Sociology. After spending a decade in Colorado and New Mexico pursuing culinary arts, tequila distribution, and real estate ventures, I moved back to North Carolina where I currently work in store development at Southern Season, traveling across the south to help manage the multiple new and existing locations. My wife, Erin (also a native Chapel Hillian), and I live in Orange County with our three dogs. I have love for everything North Carolina, and have enjoyed aiding fellow residents from the mountains to the coast in project areas ranging from social advocacy and early childhood education outreach to disaster relief. I am proud and honored to be a second-generation Orange Literacy enthusiast–as my mother was active in OL years ago, exposing me to the values and importance of local literacy from an early age.

Jamie Dunlap - Treasurer

A native of Chapel Hill, I graduated from UNC-CH, where I earned a BA in Anthropology, and ran on the track and cross country teams. I now live in Chapel Hill with my husband and two children. For the past seven years I have been a stay-at-home mom. Recently, I returned to school to study accounting, and to prepare to sit for the Certified Public Accountant Exam. I still enjoy running, and I love to garden and play guitar.

Paul Betz
Aurora Boyer
Thomas Grasty
Jon K. Jester

A native North Carolinian, I was born in Henderson and have lived in Chapel Hill most of my life. I graduated from Chapel Hill High School and then UNC-CH with a degree in English Literature. I spend lots of my time reading everything I can get my hands on and listening to really smart people on podcasts. My wife, Myra, and I met at Carolina and we moved back to Chapel Hill from Morehead City in 2000. Ever since that point I have worked in Finance. In our free-time (if there is such a thing with 3 kids), we shuttle our kids from school to field hockey fields to soccer fields to lacrosse fields to basketball courts to art classes and swimming pools. Outside of that, we squeeze in as much time as we can on the water and in the marsh (and reading about it) along North Carolina’s Sound Country (thanks Rachel Carson and Bland Simpson) and the South Carolina Low Country (thanks Archibald Rutledge and Havilah Babcock). My wife, a Calligrapher by trade, and my children are also passionate readers. It’s probably important to know that I love coffee, running, and watersports.

Lynn Lang

Dr. Lynn Z. Lang is a distinguished Virginia educator with extensive experience as a classroom teacher, administrator, author, and academic professor.

She began her career in the Arlington, Virginia Public Schools in 1964 after receiving degrees in Elementary Education and Curriculum and Instruction in reading and language development from the James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, the University of Virginia, and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

In 1983, she began an academic career in parallel with her work in Arlington, and taught courses for graduate students at Virginia Tech, The American University, Marymount University, George Mason University, and UVA in a variety of courses relating to instructional methodology in reading and writing, K-12, the diagnosis and remediation of reading problems, and multicultural perspectives in children’s literature. Lynn retired from her public school service in 1998, but continued teaching at the university level for a number of years.

Lynn and her husband, Jeff, moved to Chapel Hill from the Chesapeake Bay on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2015. Here they have found a welcoming community that has nurtured their various interests in civic issues, the natural environment, music, literature, and of course, continuing education.

Mike Mathers

Lucinda Munger

I consider myself to be the “Accidental Librarian” as this is actually is my second or maybe third career. I began working right out of high school, first being a Legislative Aide to a Congressman from Michigan and then going onto being a Public Information Assistant at the Federal Election Commission. When I finally decided to go back to college I wanted to be a teacher, but instead I got a job at the Fairfax County Library and I knew this was my calling and my passion. Since that time many, many (many) years ago I have worked for several county library systems and for a time was the Public Information Officer for the South Carolina State Library, where I had the opportunity to be the SC Director for the Center of Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book (which allowed me to meet my husband). I returned to the public library as the Director for the York County Library in Virginia and now find myself happily and luckily to be here in Orange County.

Since 2005 I have been married to Rocky Mount native and UNC grad Allen T. Cronenberg, who is the former Director of the Center for Arts and Humanities at Auburn University and currently teaches history at Elon College. Though I originally come from Syracuse, NY, I consider my hometown to be Washington, DC where I went to Mount Vernon College and where my Mom still lives. We currently share our Hillsborough home with 3 cats, wide collections of plants, pottery, folk art, and a multitude of books. Our time at home is spent out in the yard, cooking in the kitchen, and sitting on our front porch chatting with our neighbors. Since we both come from small families, many who are in the area, getting together has been easy and we enjoy our regular opportunities to visit catch up with news and eat Eastern NC pork bbq.

Shannon Ravenel
content0159df37d70cc1d82e275182284b8529I grew up in Charleston SC, and at 18, made the lucky choice of Hollins College where my English Lit major advisor was Louis Rubin.  Twenty-two years later, Louis asked me to join him in establishing Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a small, literary, for profit publishing house in Chapel Hill. I worked there for the past 30 years until my retirement in 2013.  Before Algonquin, I had various publishing jobs—in the trade editorial department at Houghton Mifflin in Boston; later, as a reader at Macmillan Ltd. In London; and as Series Editor of The Best American Short Stories series from 1978-1990.  I served on the Orange Literacy Board from 2004 until 2011 and was a volunteer writing workshop leader at the Men’s Shelter for several years.  After a three year stint in Singapore where my scientist husband ran a department at Duke’s new medical school, I am very glad to be back in Chapel Hill and back on the Literacy Council’s board for another term. As you might imagine, reading and writing are to me almost as vital to life as food and water.

Lynn Roundtree
John Sherer
John Sherer was named the seventh director of the University of North Carolina Press in June of 2012. Since his arrival the Press has published two New York Times bestsellers and has been the recipient of several major foundation grants including two grants of nearly $1 million each from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support new scaled models for high quality monograph publications.

Previously, he was the publisher of Basic Books in New York and also held the positions of Publisher of Nation Books, member of the AAP Trade Executive Committee, and adjunct professor at New York University’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies. He has held marketing positions at Henry Holt, the Brookings Institution and was a manager and buyer at Olsson’s Books and Records in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and he lives with his wife and their corgi in Hillsborough.

Advisory Board

Susan Attermeier
Pat DeVine
Rena Earnhardt
Frances Gravely
David Kimball
Joan Siefert Rose