Mary Ann List
was introduced as the city library director on Thursday.She will be leaving her current job as library director at the Amherst Town Library, which she has held since 1986, and bring her 29 years of library experience to Portsmouth.
McCann described List
as someone who knows a lot about where libraries are going in the future.
In 1995, List
was named the New Hampshire Library Trustees Association
Librarian of the Year.She holds a master's degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a bachelor of arts in English education.She served as director for the New England Library Association from 1999 to 2001 and now serves as councilor for the State Library Council. City Manager John Bohenko said List combines years of experience as a library director with the specific experience of having helped to lead two separate and significant library building projects.
was selected from a pool of nearly 50 applicants. Library Trustee Chair Phyllis Eldridge said all of the final candidates were qualified but List was the clear favorite.
...List served as chairwoman of the Building Committee for the Bedford Public Library and was an integral part of the renovation and expansion of the Amherst Town Library.She
said the transitional status of the library in Portsmouth is similar to those of both Bedford
said the things that attracted her
to Portsmouth were the excellent reputation of the staff and the building of the new library.She
said the new library shows her
the city is ready to give themselves a better library service.
"I've always thought the Seacoast area was the real sweet spot," she
said."So the area itself really attracted me." List
said some of the things she
hopes to accomplish are the expansion of library space.She
also wants to expand use of electronic resources.She
also said the opportunity for expanding distribution is tremendous.
"Not only can we find it for them but we can push it to them," she
said."It's an exciting time to be here."
List also said she
wants to continue the strong, creative service the library serves to children."I have a great deal of respect for where the [the library] is now," she
said."Everything I have heard about the staff is they are friendly and knowledgeable; people appreciate that."List
said the controversy surrounding the site of the new library is not necessarily a bad thing; she
thinks it will be something that will help the city in the end.
"Controversy can be two things," said List
."It can be a dividing force or it can be an opportunity to look at everything as a whole." List
looks forward to working with the people who have already been working on the issue and "be part of the team."
Eldridge is optimistic the controversy will subside by the end of the month, when List