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New director praises Richmond Memorial Library, sees it as a community center where all are welcome

By Howard B. Owens
Beth Paine
Beth Paine, the new director of the Richmond Memorial Library, during a meet and greet at the library on Saturday.
Photo by Howard Owens.

The Richmond Memorial Library is a community center, and so a place where everybody should find a fun and friendly place to visit, said Beth Paine, the library's new director.

Paine started her job in February but has been busy the past several months getting settled into the job. On Saturday, community members were invited to the library to meet her and socialize.

"No one should ever feel they are not welcome here," Paine said. "We're a happy place. So much is going on in a world that is depressing and upsetting, and here we're happy, and we love our patrons, and we're an open source for any kind of information."

The previous director, Bob Conrad, took a new job downstate, and after an extensive search, New York native Paine was selected by the library board. 

Paine has held the director's position at three other libraries in New York -- Sydney, Watkins Glen, and Prattsburg.

She said she's impressed with the Richmond Memorial Library and its staff.

"The programming here is amazing," Paine said. "The staff is very good with the patrons."

There are a few things she would like to upgrade, she said.

"We're looking at getting more Wi-Fi access points and adding in a little bit of more security, and expanding the collections in certain areas that have been not used as much," Paine said. "Right now, there's really not a whole lot to improve. It's a great library, I'm really excited to be here."

She said she has an open-door policy for patrons and wants to hear from them when they have suggestions or issues to discuss.

Now that she's settled in, she plans to be out in the community more.  She is going to a Batavia Rotary Club meeting soon to make a presentation, and she also plans to start volunteering at the animal shelter.

"That's what I've done for many years," Paine said. "I volunteered at the Yates County shelter when I lived in Penn Yan, and then when I moved to Delaware County, I volunteered at the one there, and so now that I'm here, I plan on offering my dog walking services. That's usually what I do."

Previously: New director invites you to 'stop by and say hi' at RML

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