Rebecca Budinger-Mulhearn

Candidate for Councilor-at-Large (Representing a Public Library) (2021-24)

Manager, Avon Free Library

I am honored to be a candidate for the position of New York Library Association’s Councilor-at-Large representing Public Libraries. Currently, I am the Director of the Avon Free Library in Livingston County. Located just south of Rochester, the Avon Free Library dates back to 1805 and serves a community of 7,164. 

My story is that of the non-traditional library Director. Although books, reading, and literacy are a first love of mine, libraries are my second career. Previously, I spent 18 years as a Community Relations Manager for Barnes & Noble Booksellers. In this position, I honed my customer service skills, developed business acumen, and learned to form strong community partnerships. This valuable experience led the Avon Free Library’s Board of Trustees to “take a chance” on a non-traditional candidate to lead their library forward. As your Councilor-at-Large, I will advocate for all library workers, representing the variety of experience levels and positions in our profession. 

At the state-level, I most recently served as the president of NYLA’s Rural Libraries Round Table. My small-town upbringing in Angelica, New York and my service to the close-knit community of Avon has made me a strong advocate for small and rural libraries and their unique opportunities and challenges. My role with RLRT allowed me to be a seat at the table for these libraries, and it would be of great benefit to them to have a Councilor-at-Large who understands the smaller and rural library communities found all across New York State.

NYLA has been a tremendous resource for me during my seven-plus years in libraries. From the Annual Conference (both as an attendee and as a Presenter) to participating in State Library Advocacy Day in Albany and National Advocacy Day in Washington DC, I have found an incredible network of professional development and support. As a former participant and now Team Advisor for the NYLA Developing Leaders Program, I look forward to the possibility of continuing on this path of leadership and advocacy as your next Councilor-at-Large. 

Please be sure that your NYLA membership is up-to-date and that you are ready to cast your vote when the call is made! I welcome questions and comments at Thank you for your time and support.

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