A retiring Spokesman-Review columnist and writer is the newest member the Spokane Library board of trustees.
The Spokane City Council on Monday unanimously approved Mayor Mary Verner’s appointment of Jim Kershner to the board.
Kershner, 58, has been a columnist, features writer and theater critic for the newspaper for 22 years. He accepted an early retirement offer last summer.
“In my other capacity as a writer and historian I use the library a lot, and I’ve come to depend on it,” he said. “I want to do what I can to keep it vital.”
Kershner holds a history degree from Lewis and Clark College in Portland. He is the author of a biography of Carl Maxey, a prominent Spokane civil rights attorney.
His last day at The Spokesman-Review is Dec. 30, though he will continue writing “This Day in History,” which runs atop the Northwest page, in a freelance capacity. His term on the library board starts Jan. 1 and ends in March 2016.
Kershner will finish the term of Cindy Weiser, the former finance director of the Spokane Housing Authority, who resigned when she moved to Alaska, said Eva Silverstone, the library’s communications manager.
Library director Pat Partovi asked Kershner to apply for the position because of his passion for libraries and to bring an author’s perspective to the board.
The five-member board has full authority over the city’s library operations and policies. It also controls the money set aside for libraries by the City Council.