Conners Retiring as Belmont Library Director

“Everything has to come to an end, sometime,” wrote L. Frank Baum in “The Marvelous Land of Oz.” And on Halloween, Oct. 31, that “sometime” will occur at the Belmont Public Library as Maureen Conners, its long-serving director, will retire from the position she has held for nearly three decades. “I’m leaving before I turn into a pumpkin,” Conners told the Belmontonian on Monday, Aug. 18. Conners decision to turn in her library card was due in large part to the retirement of her husband from his job a year ago. “He has been saying that we should do things while we’re not ‘too old old’, and that sounded good to me,” the Medford-resident said. The Belmont Board of Library Trustees will discuss hiring a new director at its Tuesday, Aug. 19 meeting while the town has issued a job posting. Conners believe a new director could be named by mid-November. The salary range is $76,859 to $109,140 commensurate with experience and includes a full benefit package. Conners, a Cambridge-native who received a master’s in Library Science from Simmons College, has been at the helm of the library for the past 18 years, coming to the library from Watertown where she worked her way up from children’s librarian to assistant library director. Conners points to the introduction and use of technology as a significant accomplishment in her time at the library located on Concord Avenue. “When I got here, the computers were still in their boxes, waiting to be used,” said Conners, who also hired a technology librarian to allow the library to meet the need of a changing library clientele. The library has increased its digital services to include library-wide WiFi, tablets and e-books, computers for patrons and the introduction of Kindle and shared software. She is also responsible for establishing the Young Adults Room on the library’s main floor and the hiring of a young adult librarian to accommodate the needs of Middle and High School students. Conners said her greatest disappointment during her tenure was returning back to the state three separate grants from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners when the town would not approve either the spending for or location of a new library. “Hopefully, a new director will have more success,” said Conners.