NEW LIBRARY DIRECTOR STARTS

by Christian Mower on July 11, 2013

THE CONWAY PUBLIC LIBRARY BEGINS A NEW PHASE MONDAY, JULY 15 2013, AS NEWLY APPOINTED DIRECTOR DAVID SMOLEN OF MANCHESTER STARTS HIS FIRST OFFICIAL DAY AT WORK.

SMOLEN SUCCEEDS FORMER DIRECTOR TARA THOMAS, WHO LEFT IN THE FALL OF 2012 AFTER CONTROVERSY OVER A PROPOSED LIBRARY REORGANIZATION PLAN THAT THREATENED THE JOBS OF FOUR LONGTIME LIBRARY WORKERS.

BETTY PARKER WAS ONE OF THOSE WORKERS. SHE’S WORKED AT THE LIBRARY SINCE THE EARLY 1980s, STARTING AS A VOLUNTEER AFTER HER REGULAR DAYTIME JOB AT A LAW FIRM BECAUSE SHE KNEW HOW TO TYPE.

PARKER HAS BEEN THE LIBRARY’S INTERIM DIRECTOR SINCE THOMAS LEFT AND SHE PRAISES ITS STAFF, SAYING THE WORK OF KEEPING IT GOING HAS BEEN DIVIDED AMONG STAFF MEMBERS. SHE’S SAYS SHE LIKES TO BE OUT WITH MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC HELPING THEM USE THE LIBRARY’S RESOURCES AND SHE’S WORKED TO ESTABLISH THE LIBRARY’S COMPUTER SYSTEM AND ACTIVELY RECRUITED VOLUNTEERS THAT NOW NUMBER MORE 50 PEOPLE.

WHILE ANNOUNCING SMOLEN’S SELECTION IN JUNE 2013, LIBRARY BOARD CHAIRMAN MARK HOUNSELL THANKED PARKER AND THE STAFF, SAYING THEY HAD BEEN “STELLAR AND HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL… DURING THIS PERIOD.”

PARKER SAYS THE STAFF THINKS SMOLEN WILL DO A GREAT JOB AND IS LOOKING FORWARD TO HIS ARRIVAL.

THE HIGHEST PRIORITY ON PARKER’S LIST FOR SMOLEN TO DEAL WITH IS TO OVERHAUL AND UPGRADE THE LIBRARY’S COMPUTER SYSTEM

LIBRARY WORKERS WILL WELCOME SMOLEN AND INTRODUCE THEMSELVES TO HIM MONDAY MORNING AT A PRIVATE RECEPTION BEFORE THE LIBRARY OPENS TO THE PUBLIC.

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