After an eight-month search, Norman Williams Public Library finally has a new executive director.
Amanda Merk became the director July 10, taking over for David Sullivan who had served as interim director since Director Amy Sadkin left last November.
Working in a library was Merk's dream growing up and she's made it happen. Merk has spent all her life in libraries. Merk was most recently library director for two small libraries in Weston and Mount Holly. She currently lives in Andover as she house hunts in Woodstock.
Here's a bit more about her:
-Who is your favorite author? Favorite book?
A favorite author of mine is the Canadian, Alice Munro and the best book by her is "Lives of Girls and Women."
-What was your dream job as a kid?
Librarian in a public library!
-What are three things still left on your bucket list?
Visit the Grand Canyon with my mother. Take my niece to France. Live for a month in the beautiful Laurentian mountains in Val Morin, Quebec and study yoga.
-Why did you become a librarian?
All my life I’ve been passionate about the power of literacy and the positive effects of reading and the importance of life-long learning. I’ve devoted myself to helping people access books, technology, and participate in enriching activities in a safe, community space. I think I became a librarian because when I was growing up on a farm in a very rural part of Canada the library in my school, and the public library in our county, were essential to my family, and I wanted to contribute in some way. I learned at a very early age that one does not need to know everything. One only needs to know where the library is!
-What are some of the biggest challenges to running a library today?
Libraries in Vermont are challenged because we operate independently and our sources of funding vary widely depending on town or city. Unlike other areas in the country, Vermont libraries do not have large regional or county-wide library systems with main libraries and branches and robust funding at a regional or state level. Here in Vermont there are 183 public libraries, more per capita than any other state in the union! This is wonderful, but it creates challenges in the way we are able to share resources. There are lots of library partnerships forming around the state and we are very lucky to have a forward looking Vermont Department of Libraries staff to help us as we develop more collaboration.
-Anything you want to change or improve at Norman Williams?
The Norman Williams Public Library is a world-class library with a top-notch staff and board of trustees. I have a personal goal that each and every resident of the town of Woodstock will sign up for a library card and visit us for books and programs!
-What do you like to do when you’re not at the library?
When I am not at the library you will find me reading, practicing yoga, hiking, walking or watching European detective shows.