Library Bond Oversight Committee Biographies

Sandra Hirsh
HIRSH, Sandra
Sandra Hirsh, PhD, is professor and director of the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University.  Prior to joining the school as director, she worked in the Silicon Valley for more than a decade at major technology companies (Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and LinkedIn) and as an Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona. 

She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a master's degree and Ph.D. in Library and Information Science from University of Michigan and UCLA respectively. 

She is active professionally and is currently serving as 2014 president elect and 2015 president for the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T).  She served on the Palo Alto's Library Advisory Commission for six years, including as Chair and Vice-Chair; during this time, the commission developed the long-term vision for Palo Alto libraries that is currently being implemented. 

She has been a member of the Library Bond Oversight Committee since 2009.  She has lived in Palo Alto since 1998 with her husband and two daughters.

"John Melton"
John is a 50 year resident of Palo Alto.  After receiving his Master of Business Administration from Stanford Graduate School of Business; John made his career in corporate finance in Silicon Valley.  He retired as Chief Financial Officer of SDL, Inc.  After retirement,

John became involved in civic affairs and was a leader in the campaign to pass the bond issue to fund the rebuilding and refurbishment of Palo Alto's libraries.  He was also a Board Member of Friends of the Library, which raised over $4 million for outfitting the libraries.  Following passage of the bond measure, John volunteered to be a member of the Library Bond Oversight Committee, on which he still serves.

Dena Mossar
Biography not yet available.

"James Schmidt"
I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, home of General Motors at the time; I have been married for 50 years and have two daughters.  From 1965-2009 I worked for public and private universities from the Northeast to San Jose. 

I have lived in Palo Alto since 1981.  I worked for Stanford University for nine years in the computer networking field, then as San Jose State University’s lead for the joint University/City, Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose for seven years.  I have served on the Palo Alto Friends of the Library Board for seven years, three as president.

Alice Smith
SMITH, Alice

Alice Schaffer Smith retired after 36 years in the information technology industry, starting as an IBM SE and as an attorney in 1977, mostly in house counsel for major United Kingdom and United States computer companies.  She lived in England for 22 years.  She is an active volunteer for Human Rights Watch, first in London, England and now for California Committee North. 

She has served on the board of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)/Northern California and is currently the chair of the Mid-Peninsula Chapter of the ACLU. 

She is also the co-chair of the Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley, is Nominating Committee Chair for the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Palo Alto, a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member, a Red Cross volunteer and a Membership Chair of Fortnightly Music Club. 

She is an avid bridge player, reader, singer, mother of two daughters and grandmother of five.  Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts in History from Smith College and a Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University Law School.