Mckenna Pushes to Regionalize Library Operations

Friday, December 23, 2011
By Cary Shuman

Town Manager James McKenna unveiled a plan to regionalize operations between the Winthrop and Revere Public Libraries whereby one person would serve as the director of both institutions.

The Winthrop director’s position has been vacant since the resignation of Alan Thibeault, who left to become the director of the Danvers public library.

McKenna told the Town Council Tuesday night that the Winthrop and Revere boards of library trustees have met to discuss the idea of having a regional library director.

“We’re very much encouraged by the dialogue and we are exploring the idea of having a regional library director,” said McKenna.

The manager said he’s corresponded with the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners about the proposal.

“They are favorable to us exploring this option – and they may even have funding for us in terms of implementing this very innovative, first-of-its-kind concept in the Commonwealth of a regional library director,” said McKenna.

The library boards are reviewing a memorandum of agreement between the two communities.

“What it would do for the town of Winthrop and the city of Revere is be able to enter the marketplace with a much more attractive proposition for a candidate of the kind of skills and background we’re looking for and provide an attractive salary,” said McKenna.

McKenna said the idea is “gaining traction” and that he could begin advertising in January for the new position of director of the Winthrop and Revere Public Libraries.

McKenna said the town would pay half of the new director’s salary while Revere would be responsible for the other half of the salary and the benefits package.

“We feel both communities could benefit and save some money on offering a co-chair on a job with paying half the salary that we’d be paying to attract a candidate of that caliber,” he said.

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