BUCKSPORT — The Buck Memorial Library Board of Trustees has hired a new library director.
Lisa Ladd, formerly of Vermont, began work last week. She said she has been a longtime employee of Dartmouth College, working in its library system. She has worked there since 1988.
Ladd is graduating this month from the University of Tennessee with a master’s degree in information sciences.
It’s safe to say she and her husband, Charlie, are thrilled to be moving to the area. He’s getting their house ready to go on the market in Vermont. Ladd is staying with family in Brooklin until the couple close on a house in Orland, which is supposed to happen at the end of the month.
‘We had been visiting this area for years — basically Belfast to Bucksport,” Ladd said. “My husband and I keep telling ourselves the area we used to get to come to once or twice a year is now our home.”
Ladd began keeping an eye on Maine library job openings after giving a presentation on large collections inventory projects two years ago at the New England Library Association conference.
“I met Deb Clark (library management specialist at the Maine State Library) at the state library and was very impressed with her and talked with her at length,” Ladd said. “That’s when I started paying attention. It was clear that Maine does a good job supporting small, rural libraries. I was just very impressed.”
Then she saw the opening to run Buck Memorial Library.
Her first interview with the trustees lasted over two hours.
Ladd said after the second and third interviews, she had “more of a backstory to the library and realized this really would be an opportunity for me to build a library from the ground up. The library has never been digitized or had a catalog.”
Ladd has done that type of work, which, thanks to the trustees, will be easier. The trustees have spent countless hours getting barcodes on all of the library materials.
“I have to say the trustees have literally put in so much work getting this library up to a working library again,” said Ladd.
The library has been closed since the pandemic began in March of 2020. Since then, the trustees have been sanding, painting, polishing, rearranging and cleaning out the historic building. New computers have been ordered for public use. A children’s section has been created and outfitted with child-size seats.
Ladd said there will be a dedicated teen area in the front of the library.
The California native has experience as a youth librarian.
Ladd will be meeting with the trustees next week and there will be discussion of a possible opening date.
“We’re anxious to open up,” Ladd said. Visits will be by appointment to start with no more than 10 people in the library at a time. “My hope is by mid-summer or later summer we can at least dispense with appointments. We’re proceeding cautiously for obvious reasons.”
Books drew Ladd to a library career.
“I’m basically a lifelong reader,” said Ladd. “Some of my earliest and best memories from childhood were going to the Fremont town library. My parents never limited the quantity or what books we read. I’ve done the same with my son.”
Ladd’s son is now 28 and married.