The 160th Annual meeting of the Corporators of the Hartford
Public Library was held this year at The Hartford Club on Thursday,
Hartford Public Library President William Large opened the meeting
with a moment of silence for the late Rev. Collin Bennett, who
had been a corporator of the library for many years. Bennett,
who passed away several months ago, had traditionally opened
the meetings with a prayer. The Reverend Ashley Cook of South
Congregational Church on Main Street performed the honors this
Large then introduced the library's new corporators: Timothy
Moynihan and Nellie and Steven Romaine. He also stated that the
library had reluctantly accepted the retirement of the Associate
Librarian, Mary Beth Mahler.
Large said that the number of corporators now stands at 135.
"I know I am speaking for the entire board and library.
I think I can promise you that the next two years will be an
exciting time to be a corporator because our library has now
embarked on the most ambitious expansion it has undergone since
its formation more than 200 years ago," said Large.
Chief Librarian Louise Blalock reported that the library is "more
visible, more vital, more a presence in the daily lives of people
than ever before as we enter the fifth year of a sustained effort
to build capacity and respond to community interests and needs."
She added that the Library's collection now exceeds 550,000
items. "We have the largest, most well-managed library collection
in Connecticut. The collection includes the state's best library
business and technology resources and greater Hartford's largest
quality collection of film on videocassette, music on compact
disc, and books on tape," said Blalock.
According to Blalock more than 610,000 people come to the library
annually. She praised her staff for their excellence in handling
normal duties and added that it is they who are "the first
point of service for the customer and the most important ambassadors
to the library for the public."
Blalock also said that the main library and its branches function
as homework centers for young adults, and elementary and middles
"The library seeks partnership with public schools to create
active, student-centered libraries. The SAND/Ropkins Library
is a model community library for the city of Hartford. We are
open to developing similar partnerships with neighborhood elementary
and middle schools.
We are interested in providing technical assistance to the high
schools and sharing networked resources," said Blalock.
According to Blalock the library is really moving forward, but
much work is left to be done. "In connecting people to information
and ideas, it is the library staff with their knowledge and skills,
interpersonal abilities, positive attitude and energy that are
the driving force of the library's success,"said Blalock.
At the end of the meeting, the corporators elected Lynne Burfine,
Maria Posada and William Large to the Board of Directors.