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New Milton library director seeks to connect with community

Posted by Dave Eisenstadter  January 7, 2013 08:24 PM

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By Dave Eisenstadter, Town correspondent

For the new director of the Milton Public Library, the first order of business is improving the library's circulation.

William Adamczyk, a veteran librarian in Connecticut and Massachusetts, became Milton’s library director at the start of 2013.

Milton Library Director William AdamczykOn the subject of circulation, he said, “We’re trailing behind the best libraries among other towns of similar population and what we want to do is find a way to increase that."

He added that the trends are in the library’s favor. Libraries in general are not suffering the same decline as bookstores in the wake of new media. Quite the opposite, Adamczyk said.

“Library circulation of physical books keeps going up, but in addition to checking out 10,000 more books, patrons checked out 8,000 eBooks we didn’t even have last year,” Adamczyk said.

The new library director speculated that as independent bookstores are disappearing, libraries are filling the role of the place people can go to browse a shelf full of books.

The challenge, however, is that publishers squeezed by falling revenues are restricting ebooks for library use, Adamczyk said. For example, the Harry Potter books just became available this year, he said.

Spurring interest in the library has been one of Adamczyk’s specialties. As teen librarian for the Somerville Public Library several years ago, Adamczyk pioneered a program to acquire comic books and graphic novels for the teen section.

The section, which Adamczyk described as formerly containing copies of "Tom Sawyer" and "Little Women," got much more use.

Adamczyk received his Masters of Library Science degree from Southern Connecticut State University in 1998. In addition to his time as teen librarian, Adamczyk was reference librarian at Somerville and Quincy libraries.

“People call you on the phone and say, ‘Can you settle a bet? Who was Baseball MVP in 1951?’” Adamczyk said of his time at the reference desk.

For the Milton director's job, the search involved interviewing 25 candidates in person, narrowing that down to eight semifinalists, three finalists, and finally to Adamczyk, according to Library Trustee Chairman Brendan McLaughlin.

“We advertised nationally and consulted with many members of the community for what we should be looking for in our next library director,” McLaughlin said Monday.

Finding someone who could increase the library’s connection with the community was first on the priority list, McLaughlin said.

Adamczyk described the process as long and thorough, and appreciated how informative the interviews were.

He said he was excited to have started, and thanked Dan Haacker, the interim director, for making his transition an easy one.

“We have a real dedicated staff with a lot of good ideas, and once I’ve been here a bit longer, we can work to put those ideas to work,” Adamczyk said.

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