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North Adams Trustees Want Voice in Library Director Candidates

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The library trustees want to make sure they're in the loop when it comes to choosing the new library director. 
 
Current director Mindy Hackner, who is retiring, told the trustees Wednesday that she plans to post her position within the next few weeks. 
 
"I think if I post this week or next at some of the venues by January, I think we will start to see people," Hackner said.
 
Hackner said there are no internal candidates interested but if they have difficulties hiring someone a current employee may have to act as an interim director.
 
"It might take a little while," she said.
 
Hackner was hired in 2014 after working many years at the Milne Public Library in Williamstown. She announced plans in May to retire within a year.
 
The trustees said they wanted to see applications first before sending them off to the mayor – who ultimately will make the decision.
 
"I think it should come to the trustees and then to the mayor," Trustee Nicole Gordon said. "It is a city position, but it is still pretty internal."
 
Trustee Robin Martin agreed and said she feared if the applications went right to the mayor he would pick a new director on his own.
 
Before closing, Hackner went over some continued maintenance issues at the library and said there is still an opening in the belvedere.
 
"The wood rotted out and the glass slipped down so it open to the elements on the tower," she said. "It is very hard to get to and we put a board up there so pigeons won't fly in."
 
As for the cracked thermal pane that protects the stained-glass window on the library's side entrance, the city may place a piece of Lexan over it and protect it until a more permanent solution can be found.
 
Removing the pane is a difficult task that could damage the custom window that was installed a dozen years ago when the building was renovated and added onto. The city has yet to find someone willing to take on the job.
 
Hackner said the city has been more responsive to maintenance issues in general. A number of areas in the older portion of the 150-year-old mansion have shown signs of deterioration.  
 
In other business, the trustees welcomed new member Ely Janis who replaced longtime member Harris Elder, who resigned last meeting.
 
Vice Chairman Rich Remsberg will continue as acting chairman for the time being. 

Tags: library director,   NAPL,   retirement,   

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North Adams School Committee Votes for Remote Learning

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The School Committee on Tuesday rejected a hybrid school reopening model to vote 3-2 to go full remote. 
 
The decision to start school with the remote option was apparently influenced by a letter the School Committee members received from the North Adams Teachers Association expressing concern over re-entering the schools because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
Committee member Tara Jacobs said she was not comfortable potentially exposing staff to the novel coronavirus in motioning to go with the remote option to start and later transition to a hybrid model. 
 
"There's no good scenario but the decision to open the school and have someone dying or having health conditions for the rest of their life ... ," she said, motioning to start the school year remotely.
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