By Dot Bergin
Who says “you can’t go home again?” After an absence of five years, during which she worked as head of Circulation in the Winchester Public Library, Noreen O’Gara is coming back to the Bedford Library, this time in the position of Assistant Director. O’Gara, who holds a master’s degree from Columbia University School of Library Service, first joined the Bedford staff in 1997, and during her 11 years on staff, worked in various departments—Reference, Circulation, and Young Adult—first on a part time basis and then as a full time staff member. At one point, O’Gara had part-time positions in both Winchester and Bedford libraries. She’s had experience working with children, young adults, and as a reference librarian, and has also been involved on the Minuteman Library Network level and is comfortable with the ever-expanding new technologies now in place.
At the Library Trustees meeting last night, Director Richard Callaghan said a number of strong candidates applied for the position but the Search Committee enthusiastically endorsed O’Gara.
Her familiarity with Bedford, her array of library service experiences in many departments and her professionalism gave her the nod. She will assume her new position on February 25.
A Bedford resident for many years, O’Gara seconded this writer’s belief that the Library is the “hub” of town life. She commented that, as the sociologists say, the Library is a “third place,” a space where people gather and everyone feels welcome. Although many of her new duties will take place behind the scenes, O’Gara will most likely be on the Reference desk at least one night a week.
Regarding the still-unfilled position of Children’s Librarian, Callaghan said the interview process is nearly complete and he expects to announce an appointment within days. In other staff news, Dee Clarke, who retired last May as Youth Services librarian, will be returning as a substitute Reference librarian.
Callaghan told the Trustees that the Library weathered the blizzard very well, even managing to stay open until 1 pm on Friday, to allow patrons to stock up on books and other. A few schedule changes were necessary however:
The Chinese New Year will now be celebrated at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23 (it’s the year of the Snake-have you noticed the clever red decals in the windows along the main entrance to the Library?)
Professor Dan Breen’s lecture series on landmark Supreme Court cases, which has drawn capacity crowds for its first three meetings, was canceled on Feb. 10 due to the weather, but fortunately the schedule has a built-in extra day to accommodate such changes and Professor Breen’s lecture has been rescheduled for February 24. More than 50 have turned out for each of the Breen lectures, which have been taped for broadcast over the local TV channel. DVDs of the lectures will be available for circulation soon.
Patrons anxious about income tax preparation will be relieved to know that the AARP tax assistance program begins on Feb. 15 and will be offered in the Library on Fridays and Saturdays through April 13. Because of IRS delays, the tax forms were sent out later than usual this year.
Regarding next year’s budget, Callaghan reported favorable results from his Jan 17 meeting with the Finance Committee, which approved the proposed FY14 budget of $1.171 million, an increase of slightly more than $4,000 over the FY13 budget of $1.167 million. As reported in an earlier article (https://bit.ly/12z29RG), FinCom’s Ben Thomas thanked Callaghan for all he does, saying, “I think I speak for most people here: the library is pretty fantastic.”
And last-but not least- Director Callaghan announced that the Third Annual Peeps [Marshmallow] Diorama Contest, sponsored by the Friends of the Library, will begin on March 1. Entries must be submitted to the Reference department by 9 pm on Wednesday, March 13. The Dioramas will be on display until March 19 and the public is invited to vote for their favorites. Prizes are awarded in different categories. There is no set “theme” for the contest this year, so “Peepers”can let their imaginations run wild with ways to creatively use the marshmallow treats. For contest details and to see some of last year’s entries, go to: https://bit.ly/GR5CWD.
To keep up with the many and varied activities taking place at the Library, visit the web site and read the monthly newsletter and calendar. Here is the link: https://bit.ly/UeH93s.