Padma Choudry, the newly elected Trustee of the Bedford Free Public Library, firmly acknowledges she is a “lifelong library patron” no matter where she is living. And although she’s only been a resident of Bedford for less than two years, when a seat opened on the Trustee board Padma seized the opportunity to run—and win—in the recent town election. Her colleagues on the Board gave her a warm welcome at their April meeting and in hallowed tradition, awarded her the post of Secretary for the coming year, which she agrees will be a great way to learn the workings of the group.
Before coming to Bedford in September 2020, literally at the height of the pandemic, Padma lived in Georgia. Her son, who was in pre-K at the time, continued with his Georgia schooling remotely but is now in kindergarten at Davis. Her daughter is in fourth grade at Lane School. In a recent interview with The Citizen, Padma reports both children are avid readers and enthusiastic participants in all the programs the Bedford children’s librarians have to offer. She’s an ardent advocate of childhood literacy.
Padma was especially grateful for all the services the Library provided during the long months when the building was shut down. Her family took advantage of the curbside service, the Friends of the Library “bag of books” sales, and online programming. And they appreciated the Diwali Festival in November 2021, arranged through a partnership with the Parents Diversity Council and the Library. Padma hopes to continue partnerships of this type with the Diversity Council and other organizations.
She may be new to Bedford but Padma is no stranger to New England. She attended Boston University and BU Law school, where she became good friends with Bedford resident Lalitha Ranganath. (Ranganath serves on the Board of Directors of The Citizen.) When a move to New England was in the works, Ranganath assured her friend that Bedford was a good place to live.
In her professional life, Padma, who is a patent lawyer, currently works remotely with a high-tech firm located in Palo Alto, CA with offices in Boston. In addition to her law degree, she holds a master’s in biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University.
She was born in the U.S. but is the daughter of parents who grew up in India and now live in New York. As a child, she says she enjoyed the adventure/mystery books, many in number, of the British author Enid Blyton, whose works aren’t held in many American libraries.
As a new Trustee, Padma is already answering questions from friends who want to know how they can find certain titles in the Library, which gives her an opportunity to promote the Minuteman Library Network. Some are interested in seeing more Hindu mythology in the Children’s collection. In India, mythology is often presented through the medium of comic books. As she settles into her new role, Padma is looking forward to being an ambassador for the Library.