by Sheri Duff
It will not be business as usual for Kip Roberson at the Pierson Library next week. After five years of service the library director will celebrate his last official day, Friday, March 22.
An Indiana native and former Winooski resident, Roberson began his job at the Pierson on March 3, 2008 after a three-year stint as director of the Ajax Library Services in Toronto.
Pierson is not the first Vermont library Roberson has managed. From 1992-1995, while living in Winooski, Roberson held the same position at Middlebury’s Ilsley Library. And between his Winooski and Toronto stints, Roberson lived in Sharon, Mass., where he was the Sharon Public Library’s director. Though majoring in finance as a college undergraduate, Roberson switched career courses and earned a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University.
The years of library experience under his belt will go a long way – Roberson will begin a new position at the Reuben-Hoar Library in Littleton, Mass. April 1. “It wasn’t an easy decision to leave. But I had to think about my future and there are just so many more opportunities outside of Boston,” he noted.
Under Roberson’s direction, the Pierson Library’s circulation has seen an increase each year, library hours have been expanded without increasing the budget, and technology offerings have increased.
“But I am most proud of making the library into a community center,” Roberson informed. “Anyone can come to the library and they want to be here. Library visits are up and at times patrons can’t find a seat, much less a computer,” he added.
“It has been a privilege to work at the library and watch it grow. Especially since we are just providing what residents want – new books, current DVDs, Indiflix, book groups, story time, adult education, Wi-fi, and the like. I’ve heard it said that people don’t read books anymore; but there were more books published in 2011 than ever before.”
“Shelburne is such a wonderful community,” Roberson shared. “I’m going to miss everyone terribly, especially the library volunteers, the staff, and Friends of the Library. This town is so supportive of its library. I think I’m going to miss that the most.”
The Pierson will begin the search for a new director immediately. Advertisements can be viewed on library job sites and the board hopes to hire a new director by June 1.