Each year the editors of Library Journal select emerging leaders in the library world. The annual Movers & Shakers supplement profiles 50-plus up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. This year, I was fortunate enough to be nominated by several Bedford residents for this recognition. Most librarians are never recognized for the wonderful work that they do in their communities.
I have been credited with restoring library services to Bedford. As Library Manager, I receive a lot of credit for the work my staff accomplishes. I was fortunate to inherit a staff committed to first-rate library service and creative enough to think outside the box. As a team, we worked towards increasing library hours, restoring programs, and promoting the library to the community. Our new web site has received national attention for its eye-catching design.
The Library Advisory Board, Friends of the Library and City Departments also played a role in restoring library services. The Library Advisory Board supported the Bedford Public Library by adopting new policies, advocating for the construction of a new library, and being a strong voice for the community. The Friends of the Library have purchased furniture, computer equipment and sponsored adult and children's programs to enhance services to patrons. I have never worked in a City where all the departments pitch in to help each other. From Bounce Houses to signs, crowd control to setting up an email address for Santa Letters, the departments in the city have always said yes to any need the library has.
The City Council gave the library a vote of confidence by authorizing the purchase of the old Food Lion in August 2007. This building will be home to the new Bedford Public Library. I look forward to working with the community, staff and City Council on building a new library to serve Bedford citizens. The new library should be something everyone can take pride in.
-- Maria Redburn, Library Manager