Staff & Volunteers

Stephen Cook
Library Director

Stephen has been Starr’s Director since 2004. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the library, including purchasing books, staffing, and helping patrons access audiobooks and other online content. He works with the Board of Trustees to meet the public’s needs, and to plan for Starr’s future. His hobbies include photography, trail running, and mountain biking. During most summers he can be found visiting Switzerland – his favorite place in the world other than the Hudson Valley. He is a lover of mysteries and old-school science fiction.


Brooke Stevens
Assistant Director & Children’s Librarian

Brooke Stevens joined the staff of Starr Library in 1998 as the part-time children’s programmer. Highlights of those early years involved the talents of many artists, entertainers, and educators who engaged Rhinebeck audiences with exotic animals, storytelling, puppetry, magic, music, and even a mime! Over time Brooke took on the role of both Children’s Librarian and Assistant Director. She is happiest surrounded by books and steeped in the world of children’s literature. Outside of the library, you are most likely to find Brooke in the kitchen, listening to a favorite podcast or Spotify playlist while trying out a new recipe, or reading from a stack of new and vintage cookbooks of which she owns way too many!

Dave Wanzer
Circulation Manager

David Wanzer began his tenure at Starr Library as a circulation desk volunteer back in the early 1980s. In 1990 he became a member of the Board of Trustees. After a 6-year stint as a trustee, David switched hats and joined the library staff. His knowledge of and interest in local history has helped connect countless patrons with the information they are looking for. David also manages Starr’s Interlibrary Loan program, which brings in materials from public, state and academic libraries all over the country. When David isn’t working behind the circulation desk, he may be found battling woodchucks in his garden, or cycling the back roads of Rhinebeck.

Dagmar Yaddow
Office Manager

Dagmar has been a part of Starr since the early 1990s, beginning as a volunteer in our 1975 building and moving with us into the 2005 extension. She is Starr’s Office Manager. Dagmar is also a longtime member of Friends of Starr Library and has curated and hung their annual art show, which serves as a fundraiser. She assists with the many book sales that the Friends have every year. In her free time, Dagmar reads nonfiction books and just finished one on Iceland.

Tara Foley
Children’s Programmer

Tara Foley received her B.A. many moons ago from Sarah Lawrence College, with a concentration on Post-Colonial Studies, and her MFA from CalArts in 2013. She is an artist. Tara has worked extensively in arts administration in the nonprofit sector and as a teacher of all ages. She has held positions such as Education Director of the Wassaic Project (in Wassaic, New York), Art Studio Manager of the Children’s Museum of the Arts (in New York City), and Teaching Artist at The D.R.A.W. (in Kingston, New York). She currently lives and works in Hudson, New York. She is so excited to work at Starr Library and meet the community; please come and say hello! You can find her art here:

Michelle Montalbano
Circulation Supervisor & Adult Programming Coordinator

Michelle is a librarian, writer, editor, and cultural programmer who spent the past five years at Brooklyn Public Library. At the Center for Brooklyn History, she led workshops on archival research and provided reference services, as well as curating programming and exhibitions on Brooklyn food history, plant life and green spaces, and more. Prior to that, she was a librarian in the neighborhood of Red Hook, where she ran a book club, digital literacy workshops, and healthy eating and art programs. Her work focuses on place-based history, foodways, and environmental and social justice.

She is also the Director of Programming and Development at the Beatrix Farrand Garden in Hyde Park, and a contributing writer to various publications. Michelle has a Master’s in Library & Information Science from Simmons College.

Rowan Willigan
Graphic/Creative Designer,
Webmaster & Cataloguer

Rowan first started working at Starr shelving books when she was 15, and now, 10+ years later, is in charge of creating modern, and engaging  marketing materials for the library’s  programs and announcements. Rowan adores the environment at Starr, and loves that she can interact with Rhinebeck’s kind community. Additionally, Rowan is a visual artist, muralist, and a photographer. You can learn more about Rowan here.  Born in the Hudson Valley, she loves exploring eateries and breweries during her free time, as well as taking walks at Poet’s Walk. Rowan’s favorite genre of books to check out from the library is cookbooks!

Circulation Desk Staff

Mary Quinn
Helen Harwood
Katy Kollar 


Linda Blackwell
Mary Burns
Chris Guiney
Janet Kettler
Connie Lown

Mary Quinn
Mary Sipperley
Robert Strickstein

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