I live at 100 Rowley Hill Road and have lived in Sterling for the past thirty-five years. With a degree in Education, my career has been primarily as a sales team manager in the office equipment industry, more recently as a Higher Education Specialist calling on selected colleges in Central and Eastern Massachusetts.
Last year I was invited, along with about a dozen others, to join the Library Steering Committee to help craft the five year plan required by the state. Our conversations centered on how libraries in general were evolving, and how we could develop a vision of what our own library should and could be. Part of our process included varied focus group meetings with Sterling community members as well as visits and interviews with directors of many libraries in surrounding towns. I enjoyed this experience and am eager to continue with my involvement with the Sterling Library.
Since the world of information has certainly evolved, our challenge is to help the library adapt to the change. The most important ingredient in allowing the transition is for us to understand what brings people to the library now and what could bring others; what resources can we offer in response to peoples’ interests, hobbies, occupations, and endeavors to entice participation while remaining an effective cultural hub.
We found in the more vibrant libraries a smorgasbord of programs that touch a varied group of patrons. Our own ideas include more guest speakers with interesting Sterling residents along with leaders and influencers with various professions and hobbies.
An equally important component will be how effective can the library be in “marketing” itself as to what the library team has waiting for all ages and personalities. Our focus will be to continue to reach out to area schools, businesses and community groups to touch as many as possible for interaction, staying tuned to their interests while getting our message out. Methods will include e-mail, the web site, and the local newspapers.
In my business travels I have had occasion to visit many Massachusetts libraries, and my recent work on the Steering Committee reinforced my notion that our own library is one of the best. Now I am looking forward to joining the dedicated and successful team, contributing to the process while helping Sterling’s Library continue to be the model for others.