Jul 29, 2014
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Madeline Holt Transitions To A New Role

And The Ames Free Library Continues To Transition To An Exciting And Wonderful Future

Madeline Holt Transitions To A New Role


It is often proclaimed in this space the benefits – and for deists, the blessings – that are available in Easton.  We have a nice place to live here – and the reason it is so nice is because of hard-working, caring, smart, wise, and focused people who built, preserved, and maintained. 

I was thinking this yesterday early evening when I stopped by a thank-you reception at the for Madeline Holt, who is stepping down from her role as executive director of the library, a post she has held since 2008.   

In Madeline’s tenure as top administrator of the library, the organization has grown, added several valuable programs, expanded its physical footprint – and last year achieved national recognition in being named by Library Journal and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as “One of the Best Small Libraries in America.”

If you go here you will find a column I wrote back in January of 2011 about all the wonderful goings on at the library – and on Madeline’s leadership. 

At the reception yesterday were members of the library staff, its board of directors, and thankful local residents, some who have been in the town and area for decades – and others recently arrived.

This is good – for this speaks to a strong and caring community. 

Prior to being named executive director of the Ames Free Library, Madeline served in the post of assistant executive director of the library since 2000. 

Altogether, Madeline has worked for the library for 14 years. 

I am gratified to learn that Madeline will still be involved with the library, and will continue to work on projects for the institution. 

It is also heartening and encouraging to know that Madeline is passing the reigns of leadership to , who has done a superb job as the library’s assistant director. 

Uma came to the Ames Free Library in 2000 following a career in academia.

Last summer, the administration of the library convened a group of interested locals, and those who avail themselves of the resources of the library, to sit in a confab and brainstorming session at (that gorgeous English stone cottage owned by the library, and which sits to the rear of the library) to suggest and cobble together ideas for the future of the library's future.

Yes, it was an exercise in fostering discussion – and I was fortunate to have participated. 

We had a bit of a jumping off point for our dialogue – and a symbolic foundation – in working with the message/mantra that the library had been using in its communication – and I like it; here it is:  “Where the Community Connects.”

At the sit down at Quest House we tossed around another message – which I also like:  “The Locus of Community Building.” 

The Ames Free Library is a tableau of so much of what is right in society, especially in our beautiful and wonderful place here.  

It continues forward.

Be a part of it. 


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