image description

North Adams Hires New Library Director

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

The trustees are preparing for a transition as Mindy Hackner is replaced by a new library director.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Southern Vermont College's director of library services has been hired to run the North Adams Public Library.
 
The college's Sarah Sanfilippo will replace retiring Library Director Mindy Hackner. 
 
"I think we are very, very lucky ... and I think we will be in good shape," Hackner told the library's board of trustees on Wednesday. 
 
Mayor Thomas Bernard made the announcement at Tuesday's City Council meeting. The trustees have been searching the last few months find a director who could be in place before the Hackner leaves this spring. A first round of applications failed to attract enough qualified candidates to pass on to the mayor and the posting had been advertised nationally. 
 
The impending closure of the financially troubled college in Bennington turned out to be the city's gain. 
 
Sanfilippo has been with the college since 2001 and before that was assistant librarian for the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. She graduated from the State University of New York at Fredonia, earning a degree in English and literature, and received her master of library science from SUNY at Buffalo. She is chairman of the board of the Solomon Wright Public Library in Pownal, Vt., and a member of several library associations. 
 
Hackner plans to stay on until May 31. She said this will allow some overlap and make the transition easier. Sanfilippo is expected to start April 29.
 
"We will have a month to work together," Hackner said.
 
She said she will attend the next meeting but this would likely be her last report. She said she will miss the library, where she's worked since 2014. 
 
"You have been a tremendous board to work with ... it has been a pleasure," she said. "I will miss the staff terribly and I am glad I am going to be able to work with Sarah. I think the library is in a good place."
 
Hackner told the trustees to expect some changes from the city and when Sanfilippo comes on.
 
"I think the mayor is going to ask the board to be far more advisory than policy making," Hackner said. "I think the mayor wants to train Sarah as a city department head so everything is done from the city down ... I think you are going to have to feel your way through that."
 
She said this conversation with the mayor was prompted by the trustees' decision to install a sharps dispensary in the public bathrooms and to lock doors to prevent drug use and and the improper disposal of sharps in the library.
 
"The mayor was not happy that we interviewed Tapestry [Health] and the reason being that any opioid issue is a city problem," she said. "He did not think that we should jump ahead and make plans ... he wants a citywide approach."
 
Hackner said they also reviewed her report template and he inquired about how the agendas were formed.
 
"We are here and we are a bit removed from City Hall and we don't always know what is going on with City Council," she said. "We are sort of in our own little space and I think he wants to tighten things up."
 
The trustees were not immediately opposed to changing but wanted to know how the city charter or state dictates their position in the city.
 
Trustee Robin Martin added that in her years at the library, the trustees' duty was often dictated by the director and the administration.  
 
"When I started here we were told the trustees were advisory ... they were the go-between the library and City Hall," she said. "Then we had a new director and it all changed and was more hands on and it depends on the mayor." 
 
Hackner said either way she thought regular communication and education between City Hall and the library was important. She noted that in the past she has only gone to City Hall to discuss problems and every time she taught the mayor something new about library and she learned something new about government.  
 
The trustees agreed to invite Bernard to an upcoming meeting once the new director is aboard.
 
"We have a new mayor and a new director," Trustee Donald Pecor said. "We have to see how it goes."
 
In other business, the library received a $10,000 gift from the Evelyn Gooch estate to overhaul the library reading room/cafe. Gooch was a former Friend of the North Adams Public Library.
 
A bronze statue was also donated to the library by the family of the late Judith "Jody" LaFortune Gottwald, who began her career in the library at age 14. The North Adams native had lived in South Bend, Ind., since 1971 and had retired after 22 years as librarian at Indiana University at South Bend. 
 
The statue is of a boy and girl reading and will be placed outside.
 
Before closing Chairman Rich Remsberg said he has informed the mayor that he plans to step down from the trustees because of increasing work duties. He said he would stay on until a replacement was found.

Tags: library director,   NAPL,   

0 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

North Adams Happenings: Oct. 23-29

SAVE THE DATE
NOVEMBER 2nd - Masquerade at Greylock WORKS
On November 2nd, three weeks before FESTIVE, come to gWorks to dance in disguise at our MASQUERADE Halloween costume party! Doors open at 8pm !
Celebrate your costume ingenuity with DJ BFG spinning seamless upbeat dance music within immersive theatrical lighting choreographed by LJ McZawa.
Whether you're coming out in a dramatic mask + your favorite party clothes or a full-body transformation, our local friends are joining in on the fun to motivate your creativity with Costume Themes and PRIZES.
https://www.facebook.com/events/406993753316580/
Wednesday 10/23
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Parenting Workshop: Surviving your Adolescents nbCC Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213, (413) 663-7588 More information.  


11:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Little Wonders Baby Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information. 

4:00 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Family Literacy Night Series The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  


6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Educator Open House North Adams Public Library, 64 Church Street, More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 10/24
9:00 A.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Kids Safety of America: Child Abuse and Neglect nbCC’s Conference Room, 61 Main Street, Room 213 More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), TUTORING, After School Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Spaghetti Supper with Tom Bernard North Adams American Legion, 91 American Legion Drive More information.

4:30 P.M. (FREE), FAMILY, Dad and Family Time- Bowling and Pizza Night Valley Park Bowling, Curran Highway More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Octoberfest in The Airport Rooms TOURISTS Welcome, 915 State Road More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, Halloween West End Bike Around Greylock School, 100 Phelps Ave More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), OPEN MIC, OPEN MIC The Parlor Cafe, 303 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), INFORMATIONAL, Milton Hershey School Family Event: North Adams, MA Freight Yard Pub & Restaurant, 1 Furnace Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), WRITING, Fiction Writing Workshop [open house] Common Folk, 85 Main Street More information.

7:30 P.M. (FREE), BINGO, Musical Bingo at Mingo's Sports Bar and Grill 41 Roberts Drive More information.

8:00 P.M. ($15), COMEDY, Comedy Night w/ Andy Sandford HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Friday 10/25
10:30 A.M. (FREE), CONVERSATION, Coffee with a Cop MCLA Campus Center, 375 Church Street More information.

10:30 A.M. (FREE), PARENTING, Ages and Stages The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), SOCIAL, Open Hours UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

7:00 P.M. (FREE), MOVIES, Halloween cartoon movie night MCLA Freel Library, Blackinton Street More information.

7:00 P.M. (By Donation), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

7:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Gregory Douglass LIVE at HiLo North Adams HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 10/26
9:00 A.M. (FREE), CLOTHING DRIVE, Winter Clothing Drive First Baptist Church of North Adams, 131 Main Street More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), GARDENING, Gardening Program UNO Community Center, 157 River Street, (413) 664-4612 More information.

12:30 P.M. (Child $5, Adults $8, Family $25), FUNDRAISER, AYJ Fund Children's Princess Concert MCLA Church St Center, 375 Church Street More information.

3:00 P.M. (Cost of Admission), ART, Opening Reception: Sarah Oppenheimer, Jenny Holzer, and ERRE MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Fall Foliage Sunset Serenade - Jessica Gregory Wilson Wigwam Western Summit, 2350 Mohawk Trail More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

8:00 P.M. ($12 adv, $15 at the door), CONCERT, Misty Blues HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.

8:00 P.M. (Prices Vary, see link for details), CONCERT, Jenny Scheinman & Allison Miller’s Parlour Game MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Sunday 10/27
2:00 P.M. (Prices vary, click link for details), THEATER, Miss Julie MCLA Theatre, 375 Church Street More information.

7:00 P.M. ($20 adv, $25 day of), CONCERT, Jeffrey Foucault HiLo North Adams, 55 Union Street More information.
Monday 10/28
5:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, ROOTS Volunteer Training ROOTS Teen Center, 43 Eagle Street More information.

5:00 P.M. (FREE), BIKING, nbCC Bike Collective The Armory, 206 Ashland Street More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), WORKSHOP, Communications Career Panel Bowman Hall - MCLA, 375 Church Street More information.
View Full Story

More North Adams Stories