New Stockbridge library director brings wealth of experience

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STOCKBRIDGE — The new director of the Stockbridge Library, Museum and Archives said she plans to expand programming and increase public awareness of what the library has to offer.

Wendy Pearson succeeds Katherine "Katie" O'Neil, who was hired last October by the town of Lenox and began work as director the public library last December after seven years in the Stockbridge post. Her appointment was announced Tuesday by the Stockbridge Library's board of trustees, coinciding with her first day of work there.

Pearson's previous posts include director of adult services at the Storrs Library in Longmeadow and assistant director at the Pelham Public Library.

"This library probably one of the most beautiful I've ever stepped in," Pearson told The Eagle on Tuesday. "This community is so vibrant and focused on the arts."

When she visited prior to learning of her appointment several weeks ago, she said, "I felt like the staff was so committed to creating a welcoming, efficient, library. It seemed like a well-oiled machine Pearson, 53, is a Longmeadow native and currently resides in Hadley. "I plan to commute for a few months, but my eyes are on moving up here," she said.

As for her goals and priorities, Pearson said that she's "getting a feel for what the community wants and needs, though the library already is doing so many things so well. I'd like to focus on increasing the public's awareness of what we offer here, expand our programming and also expand into community with outreach programs and connect some populations we might not be reaching yet."

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She cited schools, homebound residents and tourists as groups to forge closer connections with the library.

Most recently, Pearson was reference librarian at the City Library in Springfield, and she has also been employed at public libraries in Hatfield, Sunderland and Shutesbury. Previously, she worked at the Springfield Science Museum as coordinator for school programs and volunteers.

Pearson co-founded the Western Region Program Planners group, a resource for librarians involved in presenting organizing, and generating funding for public library programs. She also serves on the board of the Western Massachusetts Library Advocates, an organization dedicated to promoting library services in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, and Hampden counties.

Her international experience includes an internship at the American Library in Paris. She also studied global library collaborations in Florence, Italy.

Pearson's avocations include snowboarding, mountain biking, cooking and, needless to say, reading.

Clarence Fanto can be reached at cfanto@yahoo.com, on Twitter @BE_cfanto or at 413-637-2551.


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