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Hopewell Public Library Director Retires after a Decade of Service
Also in her first months on the job, Anne inaugurated the “Wednesday Night Out” lecture series, a regular forum showcasing local authors, historians, and experts in fields ranging from mathematics and technology to butterflies and native plants, railroads and cooking. She expanded the range of programs hosted at the library and organized a wide array of community events, including walking tours, open house gatherings and nature walks. “When you are the director of a small library with a small budget, you have to do it all—prepare an annual budget, manage staff and volunteer schedules, maintain an up-to-date collection, plan and promote events and speakers, and keep the plants watered and biscuit tin full for canine visitors.”
Anne’s arrival coincided with big changes in the publishing and library world. While the internet had been around for a while, online access from the library was limited. Anne oversaw upgrades to the library’s computers, high-speed internet with free WiFi, and built an all-new web site where patrons could see newly added titles in the book and media collections, news of upcoming events, search the catalog, and reserve materials. When the introduction of “e-books” arrived, Anne got the library’s collection up and running, allowing patrons to download e-books directly without having to visit the library. That would come in handy later, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the temporary closing of the library. Building the library’s social media presence—including Facebook and Instagram pages—was another timely innovation that kept the library in touch with its users when direct, personal contact was restricted.
Saying goodbye to the red library isn’t easy. “Working with and getting to know our incredible staff and volunteers has been a great pleasure and a privilege, as has getting to know the people and businesses that make Hopewell Borough such a wonderful place to live and work.” She is also grateful for the support of the Borough’s Library Board and its chairman, Woody Carsky-Wilson. “Library boards exercise important oversight, ensuring that the library is meeting the needs of the community in a fiscally responsible way. I’m thankful to have had the full backing of the board in all of the projects and improvements we’ve undertaken in my time with Hopewell Public.” Most of all, Anne will miss the people of Hopewell--parents who bring their kids to the library, the daily visitors who come in to use the computers or read the newspaper, and the many attendees who’ve supported and enjoyed the Wednesday Night Out events at the Train Station and Hopewell Theatre. “The library isn’t about books. It’s about people.”
Jennifer Saltman Retiring
Jennifer was named the Children’s Librarian eleven years ago. Since then, we have renovated the children’s room, updated the collection, and greatly expanded the activities the library offers young people. Jennifer deserves a lot of the credit. She enhanced the Summer Reading Program, created new activities, and engaged local merchants in special projects aimed at encouraging literacy and creativity. With her background of 30 years experience in early childhood education and as director of a pre-school, Jennifer’s programs were always well-grounded in sound educational principles—but more importantly, they were always fun! Children often do not know the names of the HPL staff, but they all know Ms. Jennifer and call her by name. Jennifer has a special way with children, evident in her gentle, engaging manner.
When Covid-19 forced the temporary closure of the library and the introduction of special safety precautions after the library re-opened, like masking and social distancing, Jennifer reacted with her characteristic imagination and energy. She moved Story Time from the second floor of the library building to the gazebo in the park, and then, when colder weather came, to the train station where there was lots of room for safe social distancing. During the height of the pandemic’s enforced isolation, Jennifer partnered with a local author and illustrator for an individual scavenger hunt in which the children used the clues to actually write their own story!
In the last few years, Jennifer’s children have had children of their own, and our Children’s Librarian is handing off her duties at the Red Library to take up the duties of grandmother. Everyone, staff and patrons, young and old, will miss her greatly. We wish her great happiness and fulfillment in her new role and extend our warmest thanks for all she has done to make the Hopewell Public Library’s Children’s Room a fun, stimulating, and welcoming place.
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