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Library News

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dec. 6 reception planned to honor Campbell’s retirement, celebrate Miller’s new appointment

A jointly held retirement reception for Jean Campbell (at left) and welcome reception for Rachel Miller will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6, from 5-7 p.m. in the community room at Forsyth Public Library. All are invited.

Miller named new head librarian

Children’s Librarian Rachel Miller has been promoted to head librarian of Forsyth Public Library, replacing Jean Campbell who retired Oct. 28 after 12 years of service. Miller had been the Village’s head librarian and former children’s librarian in the late 1980s and returned in March when she joined the library staff part-time to serve again as children’s librarian. Her appointment was effective Oct. 31.

“This will be a seamless transition because Rachel Miller and I are very much alike with our library philosophy and our approach to library services … Rachel is my clone in many ways,” Campbell said. It was Campbell who recruited Miller to replace the first children’s librarian Lorraine Getty, who retired in February. Campbell said the biggest challenge Miller faces in her new post is the need for more library space.

“It’s important to the community that library planning be an integral part of the Village’s strategic plan,” Campbell said. She noted that library community surveys need to be done every five years, and the last one was completed in 2005. “Our community has changed tremendously … I’ve seen so many new people coming to the library,” she said. Additionally, she said one of the most important changes during the past 12 years was expansion of the children’s department, including the introduction of the summer reading program, story times/story quilt, Baby TALK’s return and the hiring of the first children’s librarian.

One of Campbell’s proudest achievements is her contribution to collection development with an update of adult fiction and a greater emphasis on current titles. Other accomplishments include her introduction of the DVD format and the digital library with Ebooks. Dozens of other library initiatives can be attributed to her as well. Campbell authored countless reports on collection development policies, summer reading programs, the long-range plan for the library and the implementation of Plan B which has made the library more accommodating to staff and patrons alike. During her tenure, Forsyth Library achieved the distinction of being named a “Star Library” by the Library Journal in 2009 and 2010. The honor was based on per capital circulation, library visits, program attendance and public Internet terminal uses.

Trustee Larry Reed served as the chair of the Library Committee for four years and offered this assessment of Campbell: “When you think of the library, you think of Jean. Jean Campbell is the face of the library.” Trustee Eric Morr said Campbell has been dedicated to the success of the library: “It’s just fun to be around her when she is talking about the library or library programs. Her enthusiasm is something I very much appreciate, and she will be missed.”

Campbell said she will continue to be an avid reader during her retirement and plans to pursue her interests in Southeast Asian history and culture.

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