Haider named Member of the Year
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Ellen Haider has been selected as Member of the Year by the board of the League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus.
Haider has co-chaired a year-long study of public transit in central Ohio – the first local study undertaken by the Metro Columbus League in many years. Researched and written primarily by Haider, the study report examines the current transit climate in the metro area and recommends criteria the League may use in evaluating future transit efforts.
Nancy Brown, who co-chaired the study committee with Haider, said it was a privilege to work with her. “Ellen is perhaps the only person I have ever met who loves to do research,” Brown said. “You can imagine what such a person brings to a study committee.”
While Haider has been a League member since the late 1970s, she did not consider herself an active member until she began chairing the study committee. Now, Haider said, she is eager to stay involved.
Haider grew up in Clintonville and then attended Bowling Green State University, where she majored in speech and hearing therapy. She took a stab at being a therapist and at teaching elementary school before finding her niche working in libraries.
After earning her master’s degree in library science from Indiana University, Haider worked at the Bexley Public Library before settling into her career as librarian at the Ohio Department of Transportation. She retired from the state in 1994.
Haider founded the Central Ohio Sleep Disorders Support Group in 1986 and remains one of its leaders.
Her husband, “Woody,” is from Yemen. Some of her most treasured memories as an adult are from her six trips there to visit his family, first in 1981 and most recently in 2009. During that period of time, Haider said, she watched a generation grow up and the country make significant, if uneven, progress.
Haider has stayed on top of changes in the field of library science as it has evolved, honing her research skills on the web. “Every time the transit study committee met, Ellen had new information to share and facts she thought we needed to know,” Brown said. “Her background as a librarian was invaluable, but so were her leadership and enthusiasm.”
Haider will be honored at the League's annual meeting Jun. 7.