Behind Closed Doors Part 6: The Administrators

Topsham Public Library is blessed to have two of the best library administrators in the State of Maine. Director Susan Preece and Assistant Director/Teen Services Librarian Cyndi Burne are great women to work for and are passionate about what they do.

In July, 2005 Susan was named Director of Topsham Public Library. Susan does it all and more. She reports to the Board of Trustees concerning the operating of Topsham Public Library. She is responsible to the town for how we utilize our resources, and she works closely with our Development Coordinator to encourage fundraising goals and opportunities. She works closely with all staff members to make sure we are living up to Topsham Public Library’s mission to be a community center for people of all ages, to communicate and receive input on any policy changes and operating standards, and to check-up on us and make sure we are doing well in all aspects of our lives. She must be a public relations master, financially accountable, and someone who can work well with others. Susan is all that.

Even though Susan spends a lot of her time working on reports or attending meetings, she can still cover the circulation desk. Susan also holds a book discussion group that meets monthly at the Highlands. She enjoys the more personable side to her work when she gets out of her office and visits with patrons and especially the children.

It is vital that a Director and Assistant Director get along with each other, and Susan and Cyndi have such a chemistry between them. Even though they don’t see eye to eye in every situation, they have a mutual respect for each other’s experience and point of view that makes them a great team.

Cyndi’s responsibilities are just as varied: she supervises staff on the director’s behalf, assists the director in implementing Topsham Public Library’s long range plan, keeps informed of developments and participates in activities of professional and community organizations, manages library operations in the absence of the director, works the circulation desk, assists with the formulation and administration of library goals, policies, and procedures; she prepares reports and manages special projects, represents the library in the community, attends meetings, serves on the interview team, participates in budget development, formulates and maintains staff scheduling, submits payroll, processes bills for town payment, handles patron billing and problems, tracks utility usage, orders supplies and tax forms, handles vendor inquiries, schedules meeting room use, organizes staff safety training, oversees all things wi-fi and internet, and much more.

Not only is Cyndi the Assistant Director, but she also is the Teen Librarian. In that capacity, Cyndi develops and organizes teen programs, maintains mail chimp and a website for teens, is a reference resource, and is in charge of collection development for the Young Adult Room.

There is so much more to libraries than just checking out books, and this series of blog posts sheds a little light on what goes on behind closed doors.