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Thayer Public Library director Betsy Wolfe to leave for Brockton

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  September 20, 2011 12:30 PM

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betsy-wolf-cropped_40.jpegBetsy Wolfe, director of the Thayer Public Library in Braintree, will resign at the end of this week to become director of the Brockton Public Library.

Wolfe has been director of the Braintree library since 2007, and sent in her official resignation letter at the beginning of September, when she found out she had received the Brockton job.

Wolfe said she initially applied for the position months earlier, and said she's looking forward to a new chapter in her 20-year library career.

“One reason I chose Brockton is because it’s a large community - almost 100,000 people, and quite a diverse population with some impoverished areas,” she said. “I’m looking forward to raising the circulation and getting more people to use the library and energize it. Make it more of a community center.”

With the two library branches and one main library in Brockton, Wolfe will be trying to develop the library in a similar way she has been doing in Braintree.

Developing the Thayer library, in a myriad of ways, is part of Wolfe’s greatest accomplishment.

“I think its working in partnership with so many organizations in town [has been the greatest accomplishment], and One Braintree, One Book, is probably the most spectacular thing we’ve done over the past summer,” she said.

The community initiative, enacted by Mayor Joseph Sullivan, was made to encourage all Braintree residents to participate in a communitywide read. This year’s book, "Moby-Dick," was a hit, with numerous activities and programs scheduled around the whale theme.

“It made people proud of Braintree,” Wolfe said. “We had a whole summer’s worth of activities, almost 30. We had whale day with the New England Aquarium, and ended with the ice cream social. It was really made people understand how great Braintree is and take pride in their community.”

Braintree Chief of Staff and Operations Peter Morin touted Wolfe’s accomplishments in her five-year tenure.

“She was critical to the success of the One Braintree, One Book effort, and she’s really demonstrated the value of a library to a community in her work as director in Braintree,” Morin said.

Through reaching out to seniors with a book-delivery program for homebound residents, to increasing the online presence of the library, Wolfe’s work has been an integral part of making the library a strong part of the community.

“She’s increased he online capacity to order books online, to get reference materials online - she has advanced the technology without abandoning the traditional bound book media as well,” Morin said. “She’s been very active, and has been tireless in her advocacy for the library.”

Overall, her presence will be missed, Morin said.

“She is very energetic and enthusiastic about her role, and I’m sure that will be the first thing the trustees will be looking for in her replacement; someone who could emulate the qualities Betsy had,” Morin said.

Wolfe will start in her new role in Brockton on Oct. 3. Thayer Public Library trustees have appointed Assistant Library Director Terese Stano, who has been with the library for three years, as the acting director.

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