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Mindy Hackner will retire next year after five years at North Adams Public Library.

North Adams Library Director to Retire Next Year

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Library Director Mindy Hackner plans to retire in a year and urged the board of trustees to start looking for her replacement sooner rather than later.
 
Hackner told the trustees Wednesday that Assistant Library Director Kim DiLego, whom Hackner hoped would step into the director position, is not interested.
 
"I had always hoped to cultivate Kim as the person who would succeed me ... but we have discovered that she doesn’t want to do it," Hackner said. "So that being said, you are going to be tasked with finding someone because I will be retiring in June of 2019."
 
Hackner was hired in 2014. She had worked at the David and Joyce Milne Public Library in Williamstown for nearly 18 years and then a brief stint at the Dalton Public Library. The previous director, Rick Moon, is now the McCann Technical School librarian.
 
She has already begun preparing her job description and a list of her duties. 
 
"I am going back now and making a complete compendium of annual chores ... quarterly things, things that come up monthly, things that come up weekly and things that come up daily," she said.  
 
Hackner also recommended that the city hire someone with a business background who recently obtained a master of information science degree, so that he or she is abreast of new technology and other things the modern librarian needs to know.  
 
Trustee Rich Remsberg asked if they should conduct a nationwide search but Hackner said for how much the position pays, it would not be worth it.
 
"For what I am paid no ... you would pay some heavy-duty money to advertise," she said. "I am the lowest paid library director in the state and the city knows that ... you are competing with much larger salaries."
 
Hackner suggested they start the search process this winter.
 
In other business, Youth Services Librarian Sara Russell-Scholl said this summer the library will utilize a $5,000 grant through the North Adams SteepleCats collegiate baseball team to host a new summer reading program.
 
"The SteepleCats would really like to see this collaboration of creating what they call the 'Cubs Club,' " Russell-Scholl said. "It would help to foster some more youth culture at the ballpark and the SteepleCats players would be involved in summer reading program activities that would be community-based."
 
She said kids would receive some sort of membership card at a game and would be assigned a player as a mentor.
 
Russell-Scholl said the players will be involved in summer reading program at the library as well as programming at the former Sleepy's property on Main Street, which is slated to become a temporary baseball museum and community space. 
 
Russell-Scholl said $2,000 from the grant will be used to hire a summer employee to help run the program. 
 
"We already have a really robust summer reading program that we do, and it would just not be possible for me to do all that they are asking," she said.

Tags: NAPL,   retirement,   

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COVID Outbreak Hits North Adams Nursing Home; Health Officials Urge Vaccination

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Health officials are trying to determine if a significant outbreak of COVID-19 at a local nursing home is the highly transmissible Delta variant. 
 
North Adams Commons reported three vaccinated residents with infections as of Friday morning. The total is now 20 residents and two staff members, said Lisa Gaudet, a spokesperson for Berkshire Healthcare that operates the nursing home. Only one of those is unvaccinated, she said. 
 
The 119-bed skilled nursing facility is now closed to visitors and new admissions as health officials track down the source of the infection and determine if it's a variant. Gaudet said all residents and staff were being tested so the numbers may change. 
 
"Clearly we're hearing in the national and local news about variants that are creating these breakthrough cases," Gaudet said. "We benefited from this vaccination when we saw all of our infections go down ... So this is something that is obviously concerning to us."
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