||Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, President
First Appointment: 2008-12/31/13
Mrs. Gwendolyn R. Amamoo is a Birmingham native, a product of
the Birmingham Public school system, (Wilkerson and A. H. Parker High),
a graduate of Miles College and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
She has worked in the Birmingham School system for many years and
currently leads the teacher mentoring program through the Professional
Development Department. Mrs. Amamoo is committed to giving back to her
community. She is a member of numerous professional and civic
organizations, which includes the American Library Association, Life
Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Birmingham Sister City
Commission, Ghana Committee Chair, and is a deaconess at the Sardis
Missionary Baptist Church. Her commitment to service is extended
globally as she and her husband take yearly mission/medical trips to
Ghana, West Africa, her husband's native land. Mrs. Amamoo is married to
Dr. Paul A. Amamoo and they are the proud parents of, Ahinee, Nii-Amar
(Brenda), and Amartei.
||Georgia Morgan Blair, Vice-President
First Appointment: 01/31/12-12/31/16
Mrs. Blair is a Miles College graduate, and also attended the
University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is retired after having worked
as a placement interviewer and social worker. Mrs. Blair worked with the
following organizations: Birmingham Public Schools (Jones Valley PTA,
Treasurer), Jones Valley Neighborhood Association (Secretary), Alabama
Literacy Council (volunteer), Jefferson County Progressive Democratic
Council, Inc. (Secretary and member), Our Lady of Fatima (PTO President
and Vice-President), Our Lady of Fatima (school board member), NAACP,
Junior Achievement, and Miles College Boosters Club.
Professional memberships include: Alabama Retired State Employees
Association, International Association of Personnel in Employment
Security, American Library Association, Southeastern Library
Association, Public Library Association, and the Alabama Library
Mrs. Blair is the recipient of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
award for ten years of service, as well as the Junior Achievement award
for five years of service.
Mrs. Blair is married to Lewis Blair and is the mother of one son,
Gregory L. Blair.
||The Honorable John Scott Vowell, Parliamentarian
First Appointment: 01/25/11-12/31/15
John Scott Vowell was appointed as a Trustee of the Birmingham
Public Library in January 2011. Born in Calhoun County (AL), he was
educated in the public schools of Anniston, Jacksonville and Calhoun
County, Alabama. Vowell received his B. S. Degree from Auburn University
in 1959, and a J.D. Degree from the University of Virginia in 1961.
Since 2003 he has served as Presiding Judge for the Tenth Judicial
Circuit in Birmingham. Previous positions have included Circuit Judge,
Civil Division, Tenth Judicial Circuit (1995 to present) and General
Civil Trial Practice in Birmingham (1961 through 1994). He is a member
of the American Bar Association, National Conference of State Trial
Judges; Alabama State Bar Association; Birmingham Bar Association; Inns
of Court, Birmingham Inn (Past president); American Judicature Society;
American Judges Association; Alabama Pattern Jury Instruction Committee
(Civil); Alabama Circuit Judges Association (President Elect); Chairman,
Alabama Circuit Judges Judicial Education Committee; Fellow, Alabama Law
Foundation; and the American Law Institute. Vowell has served on the
boards of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary; Birmingham Legal Aid
Society, Past President and Director; Honorary Chairman, Birmingham
Annual Bench/Bar Retreat; Manager, Jefferson County Law Library,
Judicial Award of Merit, Alabama State Bar (2005); Drayton N. James
Award, Young Lawyers Section (2000 and 2006); Facility Member, National
Judicial College; Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program Board. Birmingham
Bar Foundation Board. Other civic involvement includes Birmingham Rotary
Club; Birmingham Metro YMCA, Trustee; Greater Alabama Council, Boy
Scouts of America, Director; Opera Birmingham, Board; Space One Eleven,
Board; Oak Hill Memorial Association; St. Andrew's Society of the Middle
South (Past President); and Episcopal Cathedral Church of the Advent.
Scott Vowell is married to Cameron McDonald Vowell. They have one son
John Scott Vowell, Jr.
||Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon
First Appointment: 01/31/12-12/31/16
Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon currently serves as the President and
CEO of Girls Incorporated of Central Alabama. Prior to that appointment
she served as the Area Superintendent for the Southwest Area of the
Charlotte Mecklenburg School (CMS) System in North Carolina and was
previously the Area Superintendent of the North Learning Community.
Before being named Area Superintendent, she was the Executive Director
for the East Learning Community. In addition, Dr. Gardner-Witherspoon
was the Executive Director for the Human Resource Division where she
oversaw instructional and non-instructional employment, orientation,
licensure, performance evaluation and management, succession planning
and other aspects of employment and talent acquisition.
Dr. Gardner-Witherspoon has been a long time educational practitioner
and administrator who began her career as a teacher, guidance counselor
and was later named assistant principal and principal during her tenure
in CMS as well as a number of other school districts. She has a
bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in
accounting, a bachelor's degree in psychology, a master's degree in
education, an education specialist degree in educational leadership and
a doctorate in educational leadership.
Dr. Gardner-Witherspoon was recognized as the Region 6 Superintendent of
the Year by the North Carolina Middle School Association and had
received numerous awards and recognition for her work with educational
Her husband, Dr. Craig Witherspoon, is the Superintendent of Birmingham
City Schools. They have one son, who is in sixth grade.
||Patty A. Pilkerton|
First Appointment: 03/12/13-12/31/17
Patty A. Pilkerton is the former Associate Librarian and Head of Digital
Programs and Preservation at the Mervyn H. Sterne Library at the
University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB). She retired from UAB in July
of 2012. A graduate of Fairfield High School, she received a B.S. in
Education from the University of Montevallo; a M.A. in Education from
the University of Alabama in Birmingham; and an M.L.I.S. from the
University of Alabama. Patty has been very involved in civic and
professional organizations and activities locally, statewide, and
nationally. She is a former president for the Central City Neighborhood
Association and currently serves on boards of the Alabama Writers Forum,
Alabama Book Festival, Alabama Center for the Book, Birmingham Planning
Commission, Birmingham Historical Society, Jefferson County Historical
Commission, the Library School Association (University of Alabama) and
REV Birmingham's Executive Committee. With a long career in libraries,
she is active professionally in several organizations including the
American Library Association, Association of College and Research
Libraries, Alabama Association of College and Research Libraries,
Alabama Instructional Media Association, American Association of School
Libraries, Southeastern Library Association (where she served as the
Preservation Roundtable Chair), and the Alabama Library Association
(where she served as the Education Committee Chair and on the Alabama
Author Awards Committee).
First Appointment: 03/12/13-12/31/17
Kim Richardson is the President and owner of Kimberly Richardson
Consulting, LLC, specializing in the provision of federal grant writing,
management and technical assistance to municipal, non-profit, and
faith-based organizations in Alabama and the southern U.S.
With over 16 years of grants experience gained from working in the
non-profit and public sectors, Kim has successfully secured funding from
every segment of the grant-making community, including government
agencies, corporate funders, and foundations. Since 2000, she has
provided assistance resulting in nearly $30 million in grant funding for
non-profit organizations and municipal agencies nationwide, including
the City of Birmingham (AL), the Beaumont (TX) Independent School
District, and the Community Action Association of Alabama. Critical
management assistance was also provided to municipalities agencies
receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and other
federal grants valued at over $10 million.
Kim holds a Bachelors degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Ohio and a
Master's of Science in Urban Affairs from Cleveland State University. In
2009, she became the first grant writer in the State of Alabama to
obtain the Grants Professional Certification (GPC) awarded by the Grants
Professional Certification Institute, and she is currently the only
grant professional in the state holding this credential. She is a member
of the Grant Professionals Association and has served on the Board of
Directors of the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising
Professionals. She has also served on the Agency Impact Committee of the
United Way of Central Alabama.
Kim is the mother of one daughter, Imani.
||Samuel A. Rumore, Jr.
First Appointment: 01/17/06-12/31/10
Second Appointment: 1/25/11-12/31/15
A Birmingham native, Sam Rumore is a graduate of John Carroll
Catholic High School, Notre Dame University, and the University of
Alabama School of Law. He has practiced law in Birmingham since 1974. He
is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Central Alabama Mensa, and the YMBC Civic
Forum. An avid local historian and former Chairman of the Jefferson
County Historical Commission, Mr. Rumore has written articles on the
history of each courthouse and county seat in the State of Alabama,
published in The Alabama Lawyer Magazine. He served as
President of the Alabama State Bar in 2000-2001 and is presently
Chairman of the Alabama Lawyers' Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He
was named a Super Lawyer of Alabama in the area of Family Law in 2009.
Mr. Rumore is a retired Colonel in the United States Army Reserve. He is
a 2010 MLIS graduate of the School of Library and Information Studies at
the University of Alabama and was inducted into Beta Phi Mu
International Library Science Honor Society. Sam is married to Pat Boyd
Rumore and they have three adult children, Claire, Theresa, and Samuel.
First Appointment: 07/27/10-12/31/12
Second Appointment: 1/31/12 -12/31/16
Dora Sims was officially sworn in to serve as Birmingham Public
Library (BPL) Trustee in October 2010. She is the Immediate Past
President of the Friends of Birmingham Public Library and served on the
Library Board in that capacity. Under her leadership, she introduced the
Annual Friends Newsletter which is now a quarterly publication. During
her tenure as President, The Friends received "national recognition"
from ALTAFF (Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and
Foundations), a division of the American Library Association, for its
annual membership drive that grossed $3,000. The drive led to the City
awarding a Proclamation to The Friends for projects not funded by the
City. BPL's Local Authors' Expo, sponsored by The Friends, is now one of
the state's largest venues for authors of self-published books.
Ms. Sims is a native of Autauga County (Billingsley), Alabama and
graduate of Chilton County Training School in Clanton. She holds an AAS
Degree from Lawson State Community College (1968), a Bachelor of Arts
Degree from Birmingham-Southern College (cum laudeâ€”1984), and Paralegal
Certification (2002) from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She
also completed additional studies at Jefferson State Community College
and Booker T. Washington Business College.
Dora Sims retired from The Birmingham News with 35 years of
service. She volunteers with Birmingham City Schools and specializes in
working with "special needs" children. Ms. Sims has served as a
neighborhood/community leader for the past twenty years and is an avid
book reader, doll collector and writer. She is a member of Sixth Avenue
Baptist Church and devotes much of her time to work with the Imperial
Ms. Sims is married to Ira A. Sims. They have one daughter, Tiffany; a
niece, Sherrita; and one granddaughter, Tayla.
||Katrina M. Watson
First Appointment: 01/25/11-12/31/15
Katrina Watson serves as the Director of Development and Communication at Oasis Counseling for Women and Children. Before joining Oasis, Watson enjoyed five years at UAB, most recently as Director of Marketing at UAB's Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (ASC). Prior to this position, Watson was a Major Gifts Officer for the ASC and UAB's Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center. Watson received her Bachelor of Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and is currently completing her Master of Public Administration at UAB.
A devoted civic leader, Watson carries out her commitment to serve through the Birmingham Change Fund, Rotaract Club of Birmingham, and the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama Roundtable. Watson is also the founder of Birmingham Natural Beauties, a network of more than 750 women who connect, support, and encourage one another on their natural hair journeys.
Watson has received numerous honors and awards over the years. In 2010, B-Metro Magazine recognized her as one of Birmingham's most outstanding young professionals. In 2011, she received the Emerging Young Professional award from the South Eastern Regional Conference of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In addition, Watson was featured as an inaugural edition inductee in the publication
Who's Who in Black Alabama. Watson is a graduate of the third class of UAB's BLAZE Leadership Academy for faculty and staff. Southern born and bred, Watson is married to Lyord Watson, Jr.
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
First Appointment: 03/19/02-12/10/07
Second Appointment: 12/11/07-12/31/12
Third Appointment: 01/15/13-12/31/17
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch is committed to community service and
has served on various boards and committees. She's so dedicated to her
community and its library system, that she's received national and local
recognition for her efforts. In 2012, she received the American Library
Association Trustee Citation Award, which is the highest honor that the
Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations
gives its members. The Birmingham City Council has recognized her hard
work by giving her the Outstanding Citizens' Medal, which is the highest
honor the council gives citizens. She is a trustee at large on the board
of directors for the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends
and Foundations (ALTAFF), and she is a regular contributing writing for
The Voice, a national newsletter for trustees.
Mrs. Welch has a varied background in the education field and
understands the needs of a public library system and its patrons. She
retired from the Birmingham Board of Education after 35 years, having
worked as a school media specialist, attendance/hearing officer and
executive assistant to the superintendent. Mrs. Welch has a bachelor of
arts in business administration from Miles College and a master of arts
in education and advance study in education from the University of
Alabama in Birmingham.
She is married to Arthur L. Welch and the mother of one son, Eric L.
Message from the President 2009 (pdf)
Message from the President 2010
Message from the President 2011 (pdf)
the President 2012 (pdf)
President of The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library
Regina Ammon began her love affair with libraries at the old Carnegie Library in her hometown of Americus, Georgia. As a girl, Regina carefully placed the reward stickers on her Summer Reading certificates and occasionally spent her allowance on overdue fines. She inhabited the stacks and study carrels at the libraries of the University of Georgia (B.A. 1987, cum laude, Demosthenian Literary Society, Chief Justice-Student Judiciary, Phi Beta Kappa), the University of Tennessee (M.A. 1989) and Auburn University (Ph.D. 1999), where she added a book of her own to the library collection (PS374.W45).
While teaching at Birmingham-Southern College, Regina discovered the Birmingham Public Library and realized, way too late to countenance a return to graduate school, that she was meant to spend her life in a library not as a researcher but as staff. She joined the Literature and Languages Department at BPL in 1996 and, with the zeal of the newly converted, joined advocacy committees and became the president of the Staff Association. Two years later her enthusiasm led her to the library's Office of Public Relations to assist in producing and publicizing BPL programs. Then, returning to her roots in research and her interest in Southern history, Regina moved to the Department of Archives and Manuscripts where she had previously occupied a study carrel while writing her dissertation. In her capacity as Assistant Archivist, Regina lectured on Birmingham history and helped produce the Common Bonds and Charles Brooks exhibits and in the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Linn-Henley Building. She also wrote grants for BPL and served as a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dr. Ammon would still be happily processing archival collections had she not begun another love affair. In 2005 she left her position at BPL to become full-time mother to John Parker Ammon, to whom she read half the literary canon of the Western world before he was old enough to talk. When John Parker started kindergarten one block from the Central Library, Regina found her way back to BPL as a volunteer, joining the Board of the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library in 2009. She has been an enthusiastic participant in the Friends organization, producing its newsletter, working to welcome the public to BPL's many free programs, and marching in the city's annual Christmas parade. In her current role as Friends president, Regina hopes to develop a new Friends website, increase membership and to introduce programs that will highlight the history and relevance of Birminghamâ€™s first grand public building, its library.
Regina Ammon also serves as a Trustee of the Birmingham Historical Society and is a member of the Cliffside Garden Club and Marjorie Lee's Book Group. She is an avid reader and a library card holder in good standing, although she still incurs the occasional overdue fine. Now she helps carefully place the reward stickers on John Parker's Summer Reading certificates.