A new appointee to the Pierce County Library System’s Board of Trustees has a long history as a leader in Puyallup.
Pat Jenkins, 62, was appointed to the board this month to work alongside four other members with the responsibilities of setting library goals and objectives, approving budgets and studying community needs and interests.
“Libraries are an incredible resource for a community,” Jenkins said. “When I got an opportunity to be supportive of them as a board member, I just jumped at the chance.”
Libraries are an incredible resource for a community. When I got an opportunity to be supportive of them as a board member, I just jumped at the chance.
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Jenkins was born in Tacoma and grew up in Puyallup. He attended the Puyallup School District and graduated from Rogers High School in 1973. As a kid, he spent a lot of time visiting local libraries.
“I’ve always been a big fan of libraries,” Jenkins said. “I went to them all the time when I was a kid. We took our kids there when they were growing up, and now they have kids of their own.”
After a few years attending Green River Community College in Auburn, Jenkins started working at The Pierce County Herald as a sports reporter. Now under new ownership, the paper has since been renamed The Puyallup Herald.
The job launched Jenkins into a long career in journalism and communications. After working at The Pierce County Herald for seven years, Jenkins reported for other newspapers in Washington, Montana and Hawaii. He moved back to Washington from Hawaii in 2005.
“We came back to Puyallup and have been there ever since,” Jenkins said. “It was home for us.”
Jenkins also served on the Puyallup School District’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2015 and continues to volunteer as a reading tutor for students.
“I really do believe in community service,” Jenkins said. “I’ve always enjoyed any type of involvement in the community.”
Now, Jenkins is the editor of The Dispatch, an Eatonville-based newspaper that covers South Pierce County, and has worked there since 2010. He’s also the program director for Senior Media Services, a monthly magazine that covers topics including retirement, social security and housing and serves as a community resources directory for older adults.
“The goal is to enhance the lives of seniors,” Jenkins said. “It’s all about getting information in the hands of people who can use it.”
Jenkins plans to bring that mission to the Pierce County Library System Board of Trustees, where keeping in mind the needs of library patrons is at the forefront of his work.
If there’s anything as a trustee that I can do to continue doing the great work that (other board members) already are, that’s what I’m there for.
“If there’s anything as a trustee that I can do to continue doing the great work that (other board members) already are, that’s what I’m there for,” Jenkins said.
“Both Pat and Daren (Jones, the other new board member)’s professional experience and community knowledge will be of great value to our Board in its service to the nearly 600,000 residents the library system serves,” Georgia Lomax, executive director of the library system, said in a release. “Their professional experiences and genuine compassion for public service will complement our strong Board of Trustees.”
There are 20 branches operating under Pierce County Library System, serving an estimated 590,000 people county-wide.
“Libraries go across all generations,” Jenkins said. “When you go there, it’s a place that truly welcomes everyone. They’re good at meeting the needs of all cultures and backgrounds.”
Jenkins lives in Puyallup with his wife, Laura, and has two children. For more information, visit piercecountylibrary.org.