Boca Raton, FL - Krista Maki, Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library
The Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library had a spectacular standing-room only 2014-2015 event season due in large part to the organizational and management leadership of Adult Programs Chair, Krista Maki. Krista has been a Friends member from the evening of its rebirth, when in 2005, at a neighborhood gathering during that year's record-breaking hurricane season, she was invited to attend a Board meeting. At that time, there were fewer Friends members than Board positions. All attendees of that historic meeting, including Krista, became on-the-spot Board members. Krista has been the leader of the Adult Programs Committee since its formation at a follow-up planning session. She describes the success of the program, part of the Friends' first 5-year plan which included the hugely successful bookstore, as almost a "miracle."
The first Adult Programs run by Krista were rooted in the Speaker Series, already well established at the small, old downtown library, and managed by Board Member, Joan Iler. The opening of the new Spanish River Library offered new possibilities for Friends' programs. When local artist, Barbara Montgomery O'Connell, approached the Friends about creating an art gallery for local artists to exhibit their works at the new Library, Krista responded - "Yes, if you will run it!" Barbara took up the challenge, and still manages the Friends' Spanish River Library Art Gallery today.
The Music Series portion of the Adult Programs also came together rather miraculously. A local music teacher contacted Krista looking for a venue for her students - and agreed to help run some of the first Friends' musical events. Later, Krista learned that the City of Boca Raton's events manager, Emily Lily, was retiring, and contacted her. Emily agreed to take on the management of the Friends' Music Series - and bring along an initial list of performers, some of whom we enjoy listening to today.
The Foreign Film Series was also in the original Friends' 5-year plan. Krista convinced a local film buff and colleague in the Boca Raton Camera Club (photography being a particular hobby of Krista's), to serve as Film Series Manager. Judy Goldston screens and selects award-winning films to be shown at the library. The library provided a new audio/visual system, a screen-painted wall in the community room, and comfortable chairs. In addition, the library's Neil Schulhoff provides a discussion of the films, which has been very popular with film goers. Community discussions also center around the two popular book clubs, one at each library, which were formed when the library turned to the Friends for help in running its book discussions, and the clubs became part of the Friends' Adult Programs events.
Today, speakers give their popular presentations, musicians perform, and special events are aired to a packed house in the spacious new downtown library Friends Community Room, with Krista introducing nearly every foreign film, speaker or performer, extolling the advantages of joining the Friends organization, and serving as behind-the-scenes technical coordinator.
Krista's long run with the Friends began after her retirement from IBM, where she worked for over 30 years, beginning as a systems engineer. A native of Fort Wayne, Indiana and a graduate of Michigan State, Krista joined IBM in 1968, working in its Detroit marketing office during its head-long expansion after the 1964 release of the IBM System/360, one of the first general purpose mainframe computer systems. Her job involved on-site customer support for IBM products, helping customers use IBM products, troubleshooting issues, and helping IBM Marketing Reps sell customers new products. In 1983, after the release of the revolutionary IBM PC a couple of years earlier, Krista transferred to IBM's new group in Boca Raton, focusing on developing and marketing products based on the PC to Manufacturing and Process Industries. She retired from IBM in 1999.
These days, in addition to her work with the Friends, Krista enjoys time with relatives, especially her grand-niece triplets in Cincinnati, Ohio, and practicing her photography. If you miss her event introductions at Friends events, you may see her at these same events, camera in tow, capturing Friends memories!