Member Highlight

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An Interview with Jim Cannon

How long have you been on the Foundation Board and what roles have you held?
I have been on the Board for 13 years in various capacities. I volunteered to take over chairing the biannual 4-day Book Sales about 10 years ago. We needed a way to sell our donated inventory and it seemed like a good idea to sell the used books to the community at inexpensive prices. Now I provide the co-chairs with information and assistance on running the April and October sales. I also chaired the Book & Author Luncheon one year in a pinch. My current role is the Book Donation Manager. I pick up book donations from estate sales all over our area then sort the books to determine where we will get the best resale value.

How did you decide to put your volunteer efforts into the Library Foundation?
My wife, Kris, and I have always loved libraries so it was a logical place to put our volunteer energy. Even as a junior high school student, I volunteered at my local library. Now I volunteer because I love the Burlingame Library building as well as the great patrons and volunteers who come to the library.

What's the most interesting donated book that you have come across?
The most interesting donated book that I have come across was a First Edition of The Little Engine That Could.

What is the most satisfying part of your volunteer work?
I love helping the Foundation make money that provides financial support for the Public Library. I also really enjoy working with good people who are committed to the same cause.

What type of work did you do prior to volunteering with the Foundation?
Before my retirement in 2002, I was Principal at a Daly City Elementary School for 12 years. During my years as Principal, we became a California Distinguished School and a National High Achieving Title 1 School for Improving Academic Achievement, prompting a visit from then-Governor Gray Davis in 2001. I was interim Principal at BIS during Fall, 2003 and Washington School during Spring, 2008. I also served on the Burlingame School District Board of Education for eight years (1985-1993), and am currently in my 11th year on the San Mateo County Board of Education (2004-2015), serving this year as Vice-President of the Board.

What do you like to do when you're not volunteering at the library?
I like to cook, study French and make my wife's life a delight!

What is your favorite book?
That is a hard question; there are so many good ones. Most recently I have been enjoying the Andrea Camilleri series about Inspector Montalbano. He makes Sicily seem friendly and warm, which is not easy to do!