LFL Board Member Spotlight: Anthony Chow

By Sarah Nelson

At the Little Free Library nonprofit organization, we benefit from a dedicated and diverse national board of directors. The board serves as our governing body and helps uphold our mission to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and expanding book access for all. In this series, we’ll introduce you to the amazing individuals who volunteer on our board.

Name: Anthony Chow

Current job: Full Professor and Director, School of Information, San Jose State University

Years on LFL board: 1.5 years

Why did you decide to join Little Free Library’s board of directors?

Little Free Library has been a generous and strategic partner in addressing early children’s literacy for Native American children as part of my federal grant Reading Nation Waterfall. This is where I met Greig, and our work is well aligned with the mission of LFL.

What is your professional background?

I am a full professor and Director of the School of Information at San Jose State University and also CEO of my own evaluation and strategic planning consulting company. As a faculty member for the past 23 years, I am an experienced researcher and educator in the areas of early children’s literacy for Native American and Indigenous children, technology integration in libraries, e-learning, and web design and usability. My PhD is actually in instructional design, my Master’s is in educational and cognitive psychology, and my bachelor’s is in developmental psychology.

How has your expertise helped Little Free Library achieve its mission to be a catalyst for building community, inspiring readers, and increasing book access for all?

I have a lot of experience with evaluation, assessment, and the use of data, so I believe I have brought this focus to the board and LFL. Furthermore, I can help LFL with planning for the future, especially when it comes to exploring technology and how digital access may fold into the mission of LFL in the next 5-10 years. Finally, I would like to continue building partnerships and collaborations with libraries to increase the footprint of LFL, so it can help more people and communities.

What is the Little Free Library project or initiative you’re most passionate about?

First and foremost is the use of Little Free Libraries in our work with five tribes nationally. Second is our increased partnerships with public libraries. Another is exploring the formation of a digital Little Free Library to ensure LFL remains at the forefront of bringing the love of reading to communities by having an increased presence in the digital world.

Finally, I am delighted that our SJSU iSchool has had the opportunity to sponsor the Little Free Library mobile app. It aligns well with our focus and commitment to technology, and it’s well in disseminating information and connecting us together.

Do you have a Little Free Library of your own? Do you use the little libraries in your community?

Yes, my parents and I have sponsored a memorial library in front of the Head Start Center in Cheyenne, NC, the Vonne and Shih-Rong Wang Little Free Library, at $3,000 a year and $30,000 over the next ten years to support early children’s literacy for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian tribe.

What do you like to do when you’re not working with Team LFL?

I like to spend time with my family and my dogs as well as go fishing, hiking, and watching a variety of sports. And of course, I am constantly reading. 

Anything else you’d like to share?

I want to congratulate LFL for all that it has accomplished and does for so many people and communities. I am honored to serve and help it grow stronger so that it can continue to serve and support the love of reading to communities around the world.

To learn more about our national board of directors, visit our Board & Staff page or check out our Board Member Spotlight series.

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