Bedford Public Library

Bedford, New Hampshire

Leadership Transition at the Library

After twenty-three years with the Bedford Public Library, including fifteen years as director, Mary Ann Senatro retired on March 26.  During her time as director, Mary Ann expanded library services and use of technology, managed several major building projects, and inspired staff to provide exceptional service. In 2006, she led the efforts to conserve the Library's original Accession Book. She has been a leader and president of our local library consortium (GMILCS), and has been active in local and regional library organizations, where her colleagues valued her insights and perspectives.  Upon her retirement, Mary Ann remarked “It has been my pleasure to live and work in Bedford. I am so grateful for all of the support I have received from the community. We have a wonderfully dedicated staff at the library and the leadership transition will be seamless.”

The Library’s Board of Trustees selected Miriam Johnson as the new director.  The Library will benefit from Miriam's 15 years of experience as assistant director, during which she managed staffing, oversaw library technology, and maintained library services in spite of construction project disruptions and the current pandemic.  Prior to becoming assistant director, Miriam was a librarian at St. Anselm College.  She received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Master’s in Library Science from the University at Albany.  She resides with her family in New Boston and is involved in the Hillsborough County Area Renewable Energy Initiative (HAREI) and Braiders of the Lost Art rug braiding guild.

When asked about her vision for the Library, Miriam said, “Mary Ann shepherded the Library into the 21st century by embracing new technology and building improvements while maintaining a dedication to friendly, personalized service.  I’m committed to continuing her legacy and expanding upon it as the library continues to respond to Bedford citizens’ changing needs”.

New assistant director Caitlin Loving has served the Library for twelve years as Head of Circulation.  During her tenure, in addition to managing the Circulation Department, she worked closely with Miriam to ensure that the library could provide as many services as possible during the construction projects and pandemic.  She has helped coordinate many successful events for adults, including the popular Adult Summer Reading Program.  Caitlin received her Master’s in Library Science from Simmons University.  She and her family live in Manchester.  In her spare time, she is a reviewer for Library Reads and Library Journal and an accomplished knitter.  When asked to comment, Caitlin said, “I’m looking forward to working with Miriam and our excellent staff to continue Mary Ann’s commitment to serving the community and encouraging a love of reading and lifelong learning”.

In remarks about Mary Ann's retirement, all three Library Trustees noted that the Bedford Library's combination of competence and friendly workplace culture is unique. It is for this reason that Mary Ann was so appreciated in the community, and why the Library Trustees felt strongly that the smartest choices for continuing Mary Ann's style of leadership were available from within the excellent Bedford Public Library staff.