Meet the Staff – Board of Trustees

Hello! My name is Magdalen Chianese. My friends call me Madge and I have been involved with the library all my life. When I was young, I loved reading all the Nancy Drew Mysteries series that were at Rogers Free Library!  As an elementary teacher I started a program with my school and the library. Each week a different class (grades 1 -4) would walk to the library, hear a story, and then check out books for themselves. This program became very popular with the students and lasted many years.

I have been a Trustee since 1995 and I have been happy to serve in that capacity. It was exciting to be part of the process and decision making when the new library expansion was constructed. The director and library staff have always been so courteous and helpful. We are blessed to have such wonderful staff.

I have two grandchildren and I look forward to taking them to story hour and getting them involved in the summer program as my own children did when they were young.


Meet the Staff

Hello All, 

My name is Jackie Katz. I have been married to the love of my life, Steve, for 35 years!! We were engaged after dating for only 5 days. I look forward to our weekends and spending time together. I enjoy knitting, reading, working in my garden, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. I have three grown sons that make me proud every day. They live in New York City and Southern California. Our time together is the highlight of my life!

Steve and I moved to Rhode Island from California ten years ago. We love living in beautiful Bristol. I love the four seasons and the calm and quiet of living in a small town. My favorite season is fall. I actually love winter and even enjoy a massive snow storm.

Libraries have always been my happy place. I have worked in academic libraries for over 25 years. I worked in an elementary school library for 18 years in California. When we moved to Rhode Island I worked in the Portsmouth High School Library. I currently work in the Main Library at Rogers Williams University. I love working with our students, faculty, and staff to help them with their research, studies, and library needs.

I am honored to be one of the newer Board of Trustee members. I am excited to help continue making Rogers Free Library the heart and soul of Bristol. I enjoy spending Thursday evenings doing my Mrs. Katz and Her Hats Storytime in the children’s room. Interacting with the children and their families warms my heart and reminds me how important libraries are to our families as well as our community.




Meet the Staff

We’re changing things up a bit in 2020! So far, you’ve met most of the staff via our blog or e-newsletter. This year we would like to focus on our Trustees and Friends! Allow us to introduce BETTY!

Hello Library lovers!  I am Betty and I chair the Board of Trustees of the Rogers Free Library.  I have been serving as a Trustee for a considerable time, and have been part of significant change over time.  I worked on the Capital Campaign to build the “new” library, and served as the Ex-Officio representative to Friends of the Library when the current renovation was fully funded!  Most recently, I led the Strategic Planning process that has resulted in a new Mission Statement, a new LOGO, revised Bylaws, and enhanced policies and processes. I am proud to serve this community institution.

I too am a book lover, but the educator part of me also enjoys planning and organizing. Being a Trustee gives me the opportunity to do all of that. It also gives me the opportunity to interact with the staff and see firsthand how much they contribute to the life of this library. If we learned one thing from the community forums that were held during the strategic planning process, it was that this staff is loved by the patrons they serve. 

As long as I serve as a Trustee, I will continue to work for the betterment of this library and our staff.  Your feedback is important in that process. Please do not hesitate to contact me.  


Meet the Staff – Nancy

Greetings! I’m Nancy Kellner and I joined the library staff in September 2018 as the Youth Outreach Librarian. What does a Youth Outreach Librarian do, you ask? Simply stated, anything conducted outside the four walls of our lovely Rogers Free Library that connects the youth of Bristol to the library and its programs. Here are some examples of our outreach programs–Reading Fur Fun (therapy dogs read with students in local schools), StoryWalks® (picture books deconstructed and mounted on stakes to be read page by page on a trail or path), Popup Story Times (fair weather story times in local parks) and attending local events like the State Street Fair and Mount Hope Farm Farmers Market. 

Because I love the interaction with patrons, I also work shifts at the library. You can find me every Tuesday night (from 4-8 pm) in the Children’s Room and occasionally at Main Circulation. 

Libraries and books have always been a part of my life. My first ever job was as a page at the Abbot Public Library in Marblehead, MA (a town not unsimilar to Bristol). I have also worked or volunteered in public libraries in Evanston, IL; Norwich and Hartford, CT; Plaistow, NH; and Northborough and Shrewsbury, MA. I spent a decade as a banker (don’t ask) and a few years as a stay-at-home mom. But the majority of my working life was as an elementary school librarian where I could combine my skills as a storyteller, my love of children’s literature, my interest in digital technology and my absolute delight at working with school aged kids. 

While I haven’t always lived in Bristol (officially a carpetbagger as I moved here in 2017), I call myself a Bristolian-by-choice. Embracing the life of a retiree I found ample opportunities to read, bake, write, volunteer, hike, bike, kayak and (just recently) learning to knit. But libraries continued to beckon and I was lucky enough to be offered this part-time job at Rogers Free Library, a place that now feels like home.

No bio would be complete without mentioning the most precious part of my life, my family–two grown children (one of each variety), a daughter-in-law (and grandchild-to-be) and my college sweetheart of a husband to whom I’ve been married for 40 plus years.

Meet the Staff!

Guten Tag! 

I’m Ann Kathrin (Uhn-kah-treen). I recently relocated to the US from Berlin, Germany. It isn’t a coincidence that my work has been centered on the written word in some form or other, from lettering comics to casting actors to translating and editing screenplays. I am taken by the art of storytelling.  

But just because I’m a bookworm and a film buff, doesn’t mean I’m a couch potato. I’m an avid walker, biker and yogi. I also started playing on a softball team this past summer and went rowing for the first time the other day on the East Bay (so much fun!). 

I’ve been at the Bristol library for close to three months now and feel like I’ve hit the jackpot: I get to be surrounded by books and films and also be part of a friendly and vibrant community. Thank you to my colleagues and patrons for the warm welcome. If you need a foreign movie tip, would like to brush up on your German or just feel like sharing a good read, please always feel free to stop by the circulation desk and say hello.


Meet the Staff

Jane, a library associate at Rogers Free Library, previously worked for many years alongside related service personnel (OTs, PTs, social workers, job coaches,…) in a large public school system (NOLA). It was during that time while training with her students and job coaches at libraries that Jane gained some transferable job skills to her present job in the Children’s Room of RFL.

More recently, Jane has trained and become certified in the Orton Gillingham Reading Method. She supports the IDA ( When not working, Jane enjoys all kinds of reading, music and gardening. She is really glad to be back in the New England area. 

Meet the Staff

Have you met Jackie?  Jackie is our new Assistant Director.  Jackie previously was the secretary at Bristol Parks and Recreation for 13 years.  She loves to exercise and walk her Golden Retriever, Riley, or the more truer version,  Riley loves to walk Jackie! She is super excited to play the role as mother of the groom this year!  She is also excited to take on this new adventure of working for a public library!! When all of the events and festivities calm down, she cannot wait to get into a good book!

Meet the Staff

Hello Everyone, 

My name is Aradhana Mehta. You may have seen me working mainly in Children’s, though I work on main floor and in reference too. I have been working at the Roger’s Free Library for the last 2 years now. I love working in Children’s, it a pleasure to see the spark in the eye of the little ones when they come in. I am fully delighted to help them find a book, answer questions about computers and dig out books from the Non-Fiction and J section.

Outside of the library I am an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Providence College and Rhode Island College in Providence. I love watching sports especially football, I am a big Patriots fan! I like these two books at our library, “The Night Gardener” and “The Book with No Pictures”.

Meet the Staff


Hi everyone. I’m Katie. In the short amount of time I’ve been working at Rogers Free Library the other side of the circulation desk feels like home. Part of that cozy feeling is that the library always has been my home. I feel at home anywhere that books are present. I’ve been a volunteer and a patron and now I hope to find myself an even more permanent fixture in the library community.

The happiest day of my life was when I applied for my very first card as a little girl. I walked into the Barrington Library which through a child’s eyes looked like the edifice of a castle. It was an important place and I knew exactly what I was there to do. I knew that I was growing up and this was entirely different from all the other times I’d picked out books on my mom’s card. I was getting my own blue and white slice of magic of my very own. We went upstairs in the elevator and I walked through the rows of books, waiting patiently despite my eagerness to sign my name. I did with a black Sharpie that was bigger than my hand. I was going to romp with Saint George and his dragon adversary. I would be the kid who had to be told to tone down the Scholastic book orders. It was love.

There are very few things that bring me more joy than reading and learning and now I get to share that enthusiasm with all of you. I also happen to love animals (mostly the furry ones), writing (especially poetry), and I’m working towards a career in education. If we haven’t met, I can’t wait to get to know you. If we have met, please come back so I can make you laugh.


Meet the Staff!

Hi! My name is Bethany and I am one of two pages at Rogers Free Library. You have probably seen me reshelving books among the stacks, where I try (and mostly fail) to not hit things with my cart. In September of this year I will have been a staff member for four years! That’s almost a fifth of my lifetime! My favorite genre of books is fantasy, but lately I have been into realistic fiction. My favorite series is “Throne of Glass” by Sarah J. Maas. What’s not to like about swords, strong female characters and magic? You can even check out my latest reads on my section of the staff recommends shelf!

Outside of the library my hobbies include gardening, petting animals and consuming donuts and coffee. My goals in life are to read as many books as I possibly can and to find the Lost City of Atlantis. If you have any tips on how I can accomplish my second goal feel free to leave a mysterious note at the front desk for me! Don’t hesitate to ask me where something is located in the library next time you stop by. I enjoy finding lost things. Toodaloo!