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Pam Treece: Public Servant, Library Devotee, Driver of Change

Commissioner Pam Treece

Commissioner Pam Treece

Pam Treece and Councilor Harrington

Pam Treece and Councilor Harrington

You don’t need more than two minutes of conversation with Pam Treece to see who she is: passionate, engaged, activist, community-minded, civic booster, advocate, reader, grandmother.

Treece, Commissioner for district two in Washington County, and executive director of the Westside Economic Alliance, recently volunteered for Storytime at West Slope Community Library. No surprise – given her former career as a teacher – she was a hit.

“It was great,” Treece says. “The kids were wonderful and I got kudos from the librarians for being a good storyteller.”

She had asked West Slope’s librarians to select books that were socially relevant, and her favorite was “Ruby Looks Up,” based on a true story about a little girl who views Michelle Obama’s portrait in the National Portrait Gallery. “Librarians have the opportunity to change society in small individual ways,” Treece observes.

Treece has cherished memories and a life-long love of libraries. “I remember the look, smell and feel of the bookmobile that used to come to our neighborhood,” she says. “I can still see the women who ran it … I can remember the look of the vinyl flooring and sitting on that floor looking at the books.”

“I was that kid with the book and flashlight under the covers. There’s nothing better than holding a book,” she says.

She remains a dedicated library advocate and devotee. “West Slope is my favorite – but Washington County libraries are among the best anywhere. Our libraries are places for everybody and at the core of our community. People come together there. They share information, knowledge and resources there.”

Treece currently finished “The Giver of Stars,” historical fiction (in a nod to her love of bookmobiles) about women who delivered library books by packhorse in 1930s rural Kentucky for the Works Progress Administration.

“I read non-fiction as my ‘main course’,” she explains. “Fiction is my dessert.”

Commissioner Treece’s first run for elected office came after a varied career that began with teaching and subsequently moved to work in the private sector, where she retired after 21 years. While running the nonprofit Westside Economic Alliance, she says she was compelled to run for office following the 2016 election.

“I ran on a platform of change. I’ve always worked to bring about change. I wanted to focus on diversity, equity and inclusion … and affordable housing and transportation,” she says.

“These are challenging times, and political leaders need to spend a lot more time listening to people,” she says. “People who are interested in libraries are people we need to hear. My constituents overwhelmingly supported the recent library levy – clearly our libraries are important to all of us.”

“Reading is the escape … the gift we give ourselves,” she says. “Enjoy it, take time to breathe. Travel where the book takes you.”