Following the diligence of our Search Committee and a fruitful interview process, the Westbrook Public Library Board of Trustees has voted to appoint Michelle Centore as Director. Beginning on June 7th, Ms. Centore has joined the Westbrook Public Library staff eager to share her professional expertise and varied experiences with the Team. Search Committee Co-chair Jodie Oshana shared, “(we are) excited about this highly qualified candidate, and thrilled that she’s accepted the position.”
Planning and providing high quality programs and services, fostering and growing community partnerships, being a strong team player, collection development, and reference and administrative skills are strengths Michelle brings to the Westbrook Public Library.
The Board looks forward to working with Michelle as she positively impacts Library staff, programming, individual patrons, and our Community.
MaryJo Noonan, Chair
Westbrook Public Library
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees of the Westbrook Public Library wishes Executive Library Director Mr. Tim Kellogg the very best, as he embarks upon the next steps in his career. Since July of 2020 Tim has served the Westbrook Community by ensuring that our Library fulfills its commitment to support our Community’s intellectual, cultural and social needs by offering a balanced collection of materials, information services, and programs for all.
The Board is grateful for these and other notable achievements during Tim’s short tenure: successfully navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, skillfully guiding the construction of the Lew Daniels Technology Center from opening bids to dedication ceremony to current capacity, developing and integrating new staff, and procuring various grants including the fiber consortium grant for CEN internet through the State Library, which will improve the Library’s internet services.
Tim’s leadership has been exemplary: thoughtful, proactive, and responsive to the reliance of our Community on its Public Library during changing circumstances. As a kind, thorough, knowledgeable, and experienced leader Tim grew and fostered positive relationships with patrons, the Board, the Friends of the Westbrook Public Library, community partners, and Town Hall officials. Our Library is well positioned to continue to be a valuable public resource.
Tim’s last day at the Westbrook Public Library will be Thursday, April 14; the Board has begun its search for the next Director.
Westbrook Public Library Board of Trustees
April 11, 2022
Toy Lending Program Opens at Westbrook Public Library Thanks to Westbrook Foundation Grant
Press release from the Westbrook Foundation
Local children can now check out toys from the Westbrook Public Library. The brainchild of Diana Caty and Mary Didiuk—an immigration attorney and scientist, respectively—the non-profit organization Traveling Toys provides an array of items for children to enjoy, thanks to a seed grant from the Westbrook Foundation.
Caty and Didiuk hope that Traveling Toys becomes a regional effort. They said Westbrook is a good fit for its pilot location because the town has a high percentage of families who are asset-limited and income-constrained. The pair also found an enthusiastic champion in recently retired children’s librarian Mary Nyman and a supportive partner in the Westbrook Foundation, which provides funding to non-profit organizations whose projects enhance the well-being of town residents.
Caty and Didiuk believe that children deserve access to toys “no matter their background” and feel strongly about providing items that are not primarily marketed as “educational.”
“We wanted children from the age of two and up to be able to get their hands on the cool new toys that are out there—and all toys promote learning because they generate curiosity,” said Didiuk.
In addition, sharing toys encourages sharing and a sense of responsibility—both personal and social—and cuts down on environmental waste, said Caty.
Westbrook Foundation Grants Chair An-Ming Truxes said she is delighted that the Foundation is able to support Traveling Toys.
“This is exactly the sort of initiative that Barbara Spencer had in mind when she established the Westbrook Foundation in 1984—bolstering a creative, hands-on project that will have a deep impact on Westbrook’s youth,” said Truxes.
To learn more about Traveling Toys, email Diana Caty at email@example.com or Mary Didiuk at firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about the Westbrook Foundation’s grant process, visit www.westbrookfoundation.org/grants. To borrow from the Toy Library at Westbrook Public Library, visit the library’s Children’s Room.
Welcoming Tricia Carlin
On Tuesday, May 18, 2021, Westbrook Public Library welcome’s its new Children’s Librarian Tricia Carlin. Ms. Carlin joins Westbrook, coming to the library highly regarded by colleagues and supervisors, with a background in student teaching and public library services. She looks forward to continuing to foster a community of life-long learners.
Honoring Mary Nyman
To offer your retirement well wishes to Mrs. Mary Nyman, please stop by in person between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm on Friday, April 30. A socially distanced, outdoor, informal Open House will be held at the lower level Community Room entrance area to the Westbrook Public Library. Masks will be required.
Thank You Mary!
Please join us in thanking Mrs. Nyman for her dedicated service to Westbrook Public Library and share with her your own story like the ones below:
Mrs. Mary Nyman, retiring from the Westbrook Public Library at the end of April, has been our exemplary Children’s Librarian for just over 30 years!
Mrs. Nyman has always warmly welcomed everyone to the children’s section, and eagerly offers book choices. Mary helped design the area with comfortable, durable furniture for families. She has led a terrific in-person story hour for preschoolers with beautiful picture books and easy, fun craft activities. During story hours, caretakers found respite in our beautiful library. Children wiggled all around if they wanted to while Mrs. Nyman read, and each story hour ended with children jumping nimbly and quickly over a candlestick!
Mary’s patience extends to children of all ages. Whatever one’s taste in books, characters, topics – from monsters to fairytales – Mrs. Nyman always takes time to find the perfect book, encouraging a reader’s taste.
Her kindness, how she takes time to connect with every child and family, and her beautiful beach story hours during summer make Mary so very special. Older kids have loved participating in her evening book discussion groups which have offered fun guests, activities, games, and snacks to compliment book themes and topics.
Staff at Daisy Ingraham Elementary School (where Mary was the librarian for six years before she joined WPL) so appreciates and looks forward to Mrs. Nyman’s visits – whether she’s dropping off books for teachers or students, reading to the preschoolers, or promoting amazing summer programming. Teachers frequently ask for her to supplement study units with appropriate titles. Former students who now have children of their own and live in Westbrook are happy to visit the Library and see their beloved Mrs Nyman.
Mary and her crew’s spectacular Holiday House Workshop has been a favorite post-Thanksgiving family tradition always to be cherished. Fancy egg decorating was another favorite craft opportunity Mary helped coordinate in the spring. Mary has been an integral part of the Friends of the Westbrook Public Library over the years as well.
Recently, as our Library closed its doors to Covid-19, Mary, her husband Paul, and their daughter Meredith have been creating an amazing and abundant selection of Virtual Story Hours from their home. Via them, our community has been gifted with the opportunity to watch and listen, on demand, to Mrs. Nyman reading her thoughtful selections for readers of all ages – classic and current children’s literature, as well as fascinating information. In addition, she has creatively filled bags with art supplies and crafts for kids of all ages, to be taken home from the Library and enjoyed.
Mary Nyman has connected with us library patrons so meaningfully because she shows interest in our lives, she enthusiastically listens, and she remembers very specific details. We all love to stay in touch with her over the years; we are so lucky to have her, and she will be sorely missed.
Now that we’ve shared our favorite Mary Nyman highlights, won’t you tell our star Children’s Librarian why you appreciate her, and how she’s shaped your love of the Library and its offerings? Write her a letter! Include an illustration, or a photograph she’ll smile at.
Mail it before April 30 to:
Mary Nyman, Children’s Librarian
Westbrook Public Library
61 Goodspeed Drive
Westbrook, CT 06498
Westbrook Public Library
Board of Trustees
Meet Our New Public Service Librarian!
Ariel Wander has joined the Westbrook Public Library staff, as our new Public Service Librarian. She will be serving the library community’s borrowing and reference needs, teen and young adult services, and technology assistance. Ariel has a tremendous track record for library service and innovation. She is already actively working on ways the library can better serve your teens and tweens in our current learning landscape. She will also play an integral role in modifying how we offer tech assistance in 2020. Stay tuned for all the exciting things to come!
2020 Friends of the Library Newsletter
During the past few months, as an unprecedented public health crisis has disrupted daily life, we’ve all had to adapt to changes we never could have imagined. The same has been true for the Westbrook Public Library.
Luckily for its patrons, the library has a long history of rising to meet the challenges of its times and the ever-changing needs of its patrons—it wasn’t that long ago that our librarians seamlessly navigated the complicated move from card catalogs to computers. Now, even as the library’s doors remain physically closed due to COVID-19, it continues to operate as a community center and hub for information. Staff answer questions via email, while books circulate without contact. The library is the touchstone for the very kind of human connection that we all crave right now.
It is my pleasure to share with you some exciting news from the Westbrook Public Library as it moves forward and adapts, despite the uncertain circumstances.
Welcome, Timothy Kellogg
Effective July 2, the library welcomed Timothy Kellogg as its new director. Tim most recently served as the circulation librarian at Guilford Free Library and comes to Westbrook with outstanding credentials and references. Please join me in welcoming Tim to his new position.
Honoring Longtime Director Lew Daniels
Beloved by generations of high school students, book lovers, and hobbyist and professional researchers alike, Lew Daniels retires this summer after 40 years in his position as the library’s director. To honor his years of dedication and service to patrons, the Westbrook Public Library Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Westbrook Public Library have established a scholarship in Lew’s name. It will be awarded yearly to a graduating high school student who intends to pursue a career as a librarian or educator. The Westbrook Foundation will act as the steward for the new scholarship. Contributions may be directed to Westbrook Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 528, Westbrook, CT 06498; please note that your donation is intended for the Lew Daniels Scholarship in the memo line of your check.
Thank You for Your Continued Support
In closing, I would like to thank you for your past support of the Friends of the Westbrook Public Library. I hope that you will be able to show your support for this community beacon once again.
Friends of the Westbrook Public Library
IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE LIBRARY
The Library Board of Directors, by unanimous decision, has appointed Mr. Timothy Kellogg as Westbrook’s next Library Director beginning July 2, 2020. Mr. Kellogg comes with very impressive credentials and currently is the Circulation Librarian at the Guilford Free Library. His references were outstanding and he has all the necessary qualifications needed for this important position in Westbrook.
MaryJo Noonan, Chairman Westbrook Public Library Board offered the following comments on Mr.Kellogg’s appointment:
“Mr. Tim Kellogg brings to our Public Library a passion for sharing all that Libraries have to offer! He has experience with the many facets of a Director’s responsibilities, professionalism, and essential technology skills.
The Board looks forward to working with Tim as he positively impacts Library staff, programming, individual patrons and our Community.”
We all look forward to Mr. Kellogg joining our staff.
There is another staffing change at the library to announce. Our assistant librarian Joan Geissler who has worked at the library for 42 years is retiring at the end of June. Joan began work in 1978 and in 1988 was promoted to assistant librarian. She has run the library circulation department managing patron registration, holds, and requests. She is probably best known for her “making people happy” calls to patrons when their requests are ready for pick up. Her many library friends will miss her cheerful and friendly presence. As will her colleagues at the Westbrook Public Library. We wish her a long and happy retirement, good health, and safe harbor during this challenging time.