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North Adams Library Resumes Search for Library Director

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The search for a library director continues as the position was reposted at the beginning of this week to a more national audience. 
 
Rich Remsberg, acting chairman of the library trustees, reported Wednesday's trustee meeting that the initial search did not solicit enough candidates for the mayor to make a selection. 
 
Of the first resumes received, four were invited for interviews; one person withdrew and, after the interviews, so did two more. Remsberg said Mayor Thomas Bernard had wanted at least two viable candidates to chose from. 
 
"We've gotten three applications so far that meet the minimum requirements," he said. 
 
The trustees are hoping to have a director in place by the time that Mindy Hackner retires this spring. Hackner joined the library in 2014 after many years at Milne Public Library in Williamstown.
 
The search committee, however, will be down by one because Kim DiLego, the assistant director, has been asked to step aside. DiLego has worked at the library for more than two decades and is currently the assistant director/adult reference services librarian
 
"The mayor didn't like the idea of someone who would be reporting to the director being on the committee," Remsberg said. He said he presented some reasons why he thought it would be good but the mayor wasn't convinced. He told the trustees, "I think she has a better understanding of how the library operates than we do."
 
Trustee Don Pecor objected that members other departments had participated in searching for their eventual supervisor. 
 
"My thinking is it wasn't a battle I wanted to take on because the resumes sort themselves," Remsberg said. 
 
DiLego was disappointed but said, "If that's the mayor's decision, that's the mayor's decision."
 
She said she would provide Trustee Robin Martin with some ideas and the types of experience to look for in finding a leader to move the library forward. Trustee Sarah Farnsworth thought it a loss because DiLego had asked probing questions that she felt others wouldn't have thought of. 
 
Remsberg didn't believe it would be difficult to sort out the resumes. "There's not a great deal of nuance in these applications," he said. "Kim and the other staff will have some say before a final selection is made."
 
The trustees hope to recommend at least two finalists to Mayor Thomas Bernard, who is the hiring authority. 
 
DiLego, reporting in place of Hackner, who was not in attendance, said there was a continuing leak in the third floor and that Wire & Alarm was aware of issues with the boiler, which was shutting down in extreme weather changes, and the heating, which was erratic in some areas and setting off the alarms. 
 
Mass Hire will be holding office hours in the cafe from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays; a sewing class for children ages 7 and older runs on Mondays from 5:30 to 7:30; Alan Horbal is running a genealogy workshops by appointment on Mondays; several events on birds are scheduled and children are encouraged to participate in the bird count Feb. 16 to 19; and the library is accepting original designs that could be used for a new library card. See the library website for more information on these and other events. 
 
The bequest to the library from the estate of late state Rep. Gailanne Cariddi is about $194,000. The trustees agreed to wait until a new library director is in place before determining how to use the funds.  
 
The library also received a $10,000 bequest from the estate of Evelyn Gooch, a longtime member of the Friends of the North Adams Public Library. Gooch died Oct. 6, 2018, at the age of 101. 

Tags: library director,   NAPL,   search committee,   

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Drury High's Class of 2020 Takes a Second Bow

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The ceremony at Joe Wolfe Field gives graduates a chance to sharein their achievements. See more photos here.  
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Drury High School had something of a do-over on Friday night as graduates and family members gathered at Joe Wolfe Field to have a second celebration. 
 
The class of 2020's saying is "Time 2 Make History," something this class has certainly done already: the first Drury class go fully online for learning, to have a drive-by graduation, and to have two graduations. 
 
The novel coronavirus pandemic had closed schools in March and forced some innovate forms of commencement and graduation, with many opting to go virtual or use a parade of cars to safely deposit the graduates and their families for a diploma pickup and photo.
 
Mayor Thomas Bernard had pledged there would be a time when the graduates could stand together, even if it was late in the summer. The first attempt on Wednesday was postponed because of rain forecast. But the time was definitely right this week, especially since the governor earlier on Friday lowered the attendance for outdoor gatherings from 100 to 50 because of recurring hotspots of COVID-19. 
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