Amesbury appoints Westphal its new library manager | News

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AMESBURY – The Amesbury Public Library has a new manager in its former acting manager, Aimie Westphal.

The city launched the search for a new director with the library board after Erin Matlin left in September to lead the Leach Library in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

Westphal worked as a customer support librarian at the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium before coming to Amesbury as assistant library manager in 2019. She became acting manager after Matlin’s departure.

The library board formed a search committee, which screened 14 candidates before selecting five candidates for interviews.

Westphal said she did not officially apply for the position and only worked at the library for six or seven months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020.

“I was really putting my feet under me and everything was thrown to the wind so I wasn’t 100% sure I was the best person because I had so much to learn,” he said. she stated.

The search committee, however, found itself comparing Westphal’s experience and skills to those of the applicants. He was then asked to become the next director after the last round of interviews. The library board voted unanimously to make Westphal the new director on January 27.

“When I started doing the day-to-day job of acting director, it seemed much more possible that I could do it and be a good fit for the library,” Westphal said.

Library board chair Anne Campbell said in a press release that the board looked forward to working more closely with Westphal as director.

“Aimie has made wonderful contributions to the library during her tenure as Deputy Principal and it’s great to see how she has helped bring the team together while meeting the challenges of the pandemic,” Campbell said.

The new library manager will start with an annual salary of $82,000 and is expected to be deeply involved in the library’s strategic planning initiative to create a three-year plan that would include updating mission and vision statements.

“We had a long-term plan that expired in 2020 and then we were starting the process to start the long-term plan, but the pandemic hit and we had to stop,” Westphal said.

She said serving the community and involving it in the library’s long-term planning were among her top priorities.

“We also want to update our technology to better serve our community,” Westphal said. “We have been working on it for a year and a half with our IT director and we have a very good working relationship. But it is a slow but sure process.

Mayor Kassandra Gove said in a press release that Westphal had done a great job as interim manager.

“Aimie has strong relationships with trustees, friends of the library, city staff and the community,” Gove said. “She is fully qualified and has successfully led staff through a difficult transition period. As a city, we are committed to providing growth opportunities for our staff and Aimie is the perfect choice to lead our library into the future.

Writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

Writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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