Photo: Corinne McCue Olmsted
Corinne McCue Olmsted joins the Belmont Board of Library Trustees at a time when the library, once again, is moving forward with a vision for a new building and its place as a resource for town residents.
Appointed unanimously by a joint committee of the Board of Selectmen and the Library Trustees on May 21, the Stone Road resident joins the “team” as it moves forward with its important feasibility study for the renovation or construction of a new library, ready to help in the development of programs and using the new physical space efficiently.
“I think that libraries are moving towards … places where people can gather,” she told the joint boards, moving away from being a quiet spot to “becoming more noisy, frankly, and that will be a good thing.”
“I want to see it become more vibrant community space so where more people like me would come in,” McCue Olmsted said, and increasing the percentage of residents with library cards from the current 65 percent.
Growing up on Long Island and matriculating at Skidmore, McCue Olmsted earned her Master’s and Ph.D. in Economics at UConn. She worked in research before moving to Nexus Associates and then seven years as a transfer pricing economist at Ernst & Young. She and her husband, who is also an economist, are parents of a six-year-old and nearly three-year-old twins.
McCue Olmsted joins the six-member board to finish the single year left of the term and will be up for election in April 2017 and then will need to run again for election in April 2018.
Her favorite book is “Four Kitchens: My Life Behind the Burner in New York, Hanoi, Tel Aviv, and Paris” by Lauren Shockey, a book on cooking, travel, and life.
The Belmontonian: As a trustee, you’ll be bringing the prospectus of a young woman with children, which is a considerable percentage of library users. Do you see yourself being the point person for that important constituency?
McCue Olmsted: Yes, and I would like to be that person. When enrollment in schools increases, the uses of the children’s area of the library does so also. I will be an advocate for expanding programs for both adults and children. For children, I’d like to see similar space changes to the children’s room because it’s small and a little dark. While the librarians do a wonderful job with the arrangement of books and material, we can do more with this room.
Q: What would you like to see in a new or renovated building?
A: While the building shape is still the same [since its opening in 1967] … I would like to see this become more of a communal social space so that people just don’t come to take out books but to socialize. We should also commit in a new building to more energy efficient practices, more natural light and recycling, the same concepts used at the Wellington [Elementary].
Q: Does digital media have a role in your plans?
A: I see the library evolving into more of a space where people can come together and use the digital resources. The types of media products the library provides will continue to expand and [the library] can become the place where information literacy is taught in the community including the schools. But I still have an affinity for physical books. That’s the reason people continue to go to bookstores. Children get interested in things by looking at them physically, and that’s why the Children’s Room is so important to the community.
Q: What is the first item that you’re interested in tackling as a Trustee?
A: I would like to take a look at the programs. To see if there are places that can be expanded or filled in. I also want to talk to Peter [Struzziero, Belmont Public Library Director] how he is increasing space. While other challenges are facing the town such as the construction of a renovated Belmont High School that will likely take precedence, the library still faces urgent problems such as the boiler issue [which will need to be replaced], the type of non-exciting things that need to be resolved to keep the building running.