DERRY — With an extensive career as a librarian, Cara Barlow is set to become the new director and public face of the Derry Public Library on Monday.
Barlow was chosen from a field of candidates from across the country by the library’s Board of Trustees. She currently heads the arts and music department at the Nashua Public Library and is on the board, and treasurer, of the New Hampshire Library Association, said Susan Brown, who has been serving as the acting library director.
“We are very happy with the trustee’s choice of Cara as director,” said Brown, who took over for former director Cheryl Lynch after she retired from the post in June.
Brown said the staff is glad she is coming aboard while touting her background.
“First and foremost, she has a master’s degree in library science,” Brown said. “And she has a lot of hands-on experience doing the day-to-day work of a library and running a large department as she did over in Nashua.”
The Trustees had been looking for someone who is out in the community, according to library officials.
Barlow, a Milford resident, served on the Milford School Board and has been a Milford Library trustee, Brown said. Those experiences should help her in interacting and meeting with the public and local officials, which is included in some of her job responsibilities.
“I think sitting on the school board is a really challenging volunteer position with a lot of controversy and a lot of personalities,” Brown said. “It has given her a lot of good skills working with other town agencies and the public.”
Barlow will have upper management level responsibilities, such as managing the budget and staffing levels, while setting policies. She will also meet regularly with the trustees and will work with her counterparts at town hall and the Town Council, Brown said.
“The director really should be the face of the library,” Brown said. “The director is the person out in the community promoting the library, explaining the library, meeting people and talking about library services.”
Once Barlow comes aboard, Brown will go back to being head of adult services. She will also serve as assistant library director and can fill in when Barlow is away.
During the past 11 months, Brown said she’s thoroughly enjoyed serving as acting director, but she is looking forward to returning to her old job.
“I love doing that type of work, and it’s been very difficult to do everything over the past 11 months, but it’s worked out,” said Brown, who thanked staff members for contributing and helping things run smoothly.
“A lot of people have helped me in many ways.”