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The Recorder – New director seeks to make Erving’s library “a place for everyone to play”

Posted: 06/24/2022 15:55:39

Modified: 06/24/2022 15:55:21

ERVING — After starting her job last month, Erving Public Library’s new director, Abigail Baines, is getting comfortable and looking forward to making her library “a place for everyone to play.”

The Greenfield resident began her role on May 2, following an extended search following Natane Halasz’s November decision to step down after a short term. Baines last served as Head of Public Services for Smith College Libraries and previously held digital media-focused positions at Simmons University, Hampshire College and University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. . In Erving, Baines sees a shared enthusiasm for technological advancement, praising the new library as a cutting-edge “sparkling building”.

“The building already has many features,” she said. “I saw that Erving invested the best in his library and thought that was really meaningful.”

Baines, who grew up in Shutesbury, said she was in awe of how Erving, despite his short stature, could have so much to do. The city, she said, is “interesting in many ways”, with the library in particular being “a place where people can come together”. Specifically, she cited existing aspects such as plans for garden projects and the “library of things” as qualities she appreciates.

Baines said that as the library strives to offer even more to the community, “the evolution of this library will be all about programming.” The future, she added, would focus on technology, resources to help people of all ages use the internet, and cross-generational activities such as an all-ages summer reading program with age-appropriate prices. Other Baines goals for the future include fostering relationships with locals and improving the library’s creative space. So far, she said, pursuing those aspirations has been a joy.

“Honestly,” she said, “it’s been a lot of fun.”

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or [email protected]