BERLIN â€“ The library officially has a new leader, and sheâ€™s being welcomed to town by residents and elected officials alike.
Kimberly McNally recently began her post as the new executive director of the Berlin-Peck Library.
Former director Helen Malinka retired April 1 after a decade in Berlin. Head of Adult Services Carrie Tyszka served as acting director until McNallyâ€™s arrival last week.
Mayor Mark Kaczynski announced the position had been filled during the last meeting of the Berlin Town Council.
â€śI just want to welcome Kimberly and thank Carrie for doing a great job as acting director,â€ť the mayor said.
McNally, who is originally from Florida, has been a professional librarian the last 10 years. She comes to Berlin from the Durham Public Library, where she served as assistant director since 2018. Prior to relocating to Connecticut that year, McNally and her husband lived in Portland, Oregon.
She worked as reference librarian at the Battle Ground Community Library in Vancouver, Washington, eventually working her way up to branch manager, a position she held from 2013-2018.
But McNally wasnâ€™t always in the business of books.
â€śBefore I became a librarian, I spent nine years working in commercial real estate,â€ť she told the Herald, calling her choice to go to library school, â€śthe best decision I ever made.â€ť
â€śMany people think working at the library is about books and the collection is important,â€ť she added, â€śbut my favorite part of working at the library is the people. My strengths lie in developing relationships, working with the library board, and sharing knowledge with the staff and community.â€ť
McNally earned a Masterâ€™s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida before beginning her (second) career as a library volunteer.
She currently serves as chair-elect of the Connecticut Library Consortiumâ€™s Board of Directors, and shared her enthusiasm about joining the team at the Berlin-Peck Memorial Library.
â€śBerlin is a vibrant, engaged community and I am fortunate to work with a wonderful team at the library who have gone above and beyond to meet the needs of our patrons,â€ť McNally said. â€śFrom passport services to story times at Sage Park, spice kits and summer reading I am amazed at their creativity and the programs and services they have offered despite the challenges of the last year.â€ť
When asked about her leadership style and future plans for Berlinâ€™s library, McNally pointed out the library â€“ and all libraries for that matter â€“ are â€śfor and ofâ€ť the communities they serve.
â€śBerlin-Peck Memorial Library has great support from the town and its residents,â€ť McNally said. â€śI look forward to working together, learning more about the needs, hopes, and dreams of our patrons, staff, and community, and leading library staff in defining library services as we embrace our new normal.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.