April 12, 2010

New library director busy

Also works at Lithgow

By Betty Adams
Staff Writer


Staff Writer

Richard J. Fortin's first week as director of the Charles M. Bailey Public Library in Winthrop has been hectic.

"It's very, very busy," he said Friday. "There's only five people other than me running the whole library. Everybody sort of wears different hats. It's something I'm not used to."

So far, he's worked at cataloging books, staffing the circulation desk, compiling statistics and handling computer and physical plant problems.

"You always need to be shifting gears," he said.

Fortin, 24, who lives in Augusta with his wife, Kristin, and 3-year-old Ethan, still has two other library jobs -- at least until next month.

He is a reference technician at Lewiston Public Library and also works at Lithgow Public Library in Augusta. He is also finishing his college course work and will graduate in May from the University of Maine at Augusta with a bachelor of science in information and library services, and he interned at the Bailey library.

Fortin also is a professional photographer and a graphic designer.

"The most interesting thing about this week in coming to Winthrop is the difference in patron base," he said.

He's used to large numbers of teens using library in Lewiston -- and hopes to institute programs to attract more teens to the Bailey library -- as well as Lewiston's large number of Somali patrons.

He credits Betsy Pohl, Lithgow director, with teaching him as much as he learned in his classes.

Fortin reports to the Charles M. Bailey Public Library Board of Trustees and works closely with the town manager.

Ann Theriault, acting chairman of the trustees, said the board was impressed with Fortin.

"He's full of ideas on how to take the library to the next level," she said on Friday. "We're looking forward to having him grow into a very successful director."

Elizabeth Sienko, former chairman, has been most recently acting library director. The former director, Colleen Crowley, resigned last August, as the library building was being readied for reopening after a fire.

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