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Jaffrey

A new chapter for town library

Former Boston librarian Emily Donnelly takes helm after retirement of Joan Knight

  • Emily Donnelly recently assumed the role of director of the Jaffrey Public Library.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Emily Donnelly recently assumed the role of director of the Jaffrey Public Library.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Emily Donnelly recently assumed the role of director of the Jaffrey Public Library.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Emily Donnelly recently assumed the role of director of the Jaffrey Public Library.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

JAFFREY — Strengthening community partnerships, the addition of more activities and programs for local youth, as well as advancements in technology, are three initiatives that former Boston children’s librarian Emily Donnelly hopes to bring to the Jaffrey Public Library in her new role as its director.

“I really believe libraries are a community center and a great equalizer,” Donnelly, a Philadelphia native, said in an interview at the library Monday morning. “It’s really nice to be in a profession where I get to interact with all people from all walks of life.”

Most recently, Donnelly served as the children’s librarian at the Boston Public Library. But after about 10 years in the city, Donnelly said she was ready for a change and the director job opening in Jaffrey seemed like the perfect fit.

“It was an opportunity for me to move into more of a leadership position without sacrificing the librarian part,” she said.

Although Donnelly just moved to Jaffrey a couple of weeks ago, she said she is already in love with the small town and thankful to its residents for welcoming her with open arms.

“One of the things that is a real gift about Jaffrey is the town is so supportive of its library,” Donnelly said, adding that much of that support can be credited to its former director Joan Knight, who left a wonderful legacy behind. Knight, who had worked as the library’s director since 1996, retired on July 15.

As a young child, Donnelly said she took frequent trips to her local library with her mom, who was an English teacher. And as Donnelly matured, she said her interest in libraries never faded. She worked at libraries in both high school and college.

Donnelly said she wants people in the town of Jaffrey to know that the Jaffrey Public Library is a community spot and that she wants their input to help make it a better place.

“I want them to know that this is their library and that I’m very open to suggestions,” she said.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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