Julie Mulcahy started as director of Laughlin Library in Ambridge on Aug. 18 and Bernie McKean began as director of the Baden Public Library on Aug. 11.
Both are excited, full of ideas, and getting acclimated.
“It’s going good," McKean said. "I’ve been getting to know some of the people, some of our regulars.”
“I really like the people and the support,” Mulcahy said. “There’s been a lot of support from the community... and it just seems like there’s a big support for the library.”
Originally from Conway, Mulcahy, who now lives in Chippewa, has an undergraduate degree in history and a master’s degree in library science from Clarion University.
She previously worked at the New Castle Public Library for 10 years as the head of technical services, with duties that included cataloging new books and working on the website. She is also president of the Beaver County Historical Research and Landmark Foundation at the Vicary Mansion.
Mulcahy has several ideas brewing. One of them is Music Mondays, when local musicians are invited to come out to play on the library’s front stoop. The first will be held on Monday, Sept. 8 and featues Ambridge musicians Jim and Debbie Tobin from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“I figure we have such a beautiful building, it’s nice to showcase it in different ways. It’s not books, it’s music, but a lot of libraries have CD collections,” she said.
Mulcahy also wants to get more teens in the library and is planning events for Teen Read Week, which kicks off Oct. 12. She hopes to drum up more interest in the Friends of the Library organization and encourage those who want to volunteer to do so. The library has a couple of interns lined up to assist with projects as well.
Mulcahy and McKean are attending the Pennsylvania Library Association Conference at the end of the month, where they expect to gather additional ideas and have even discussed doing some joint programming.
“We can definitely partner with Baden – we already do,” Mulcahy said.
McKean said she is looking forward to working with Mulcahy, who she knows from Lawrence County.
McKean previously worked at the F.D. Campbell Memorial Library in Bessemer, Pa. and the Carnegie Free Library in Beaver Falls.
A resident of Darlington, McKean received her master’s degree in library science from Clarion University, as well.
Though she has only been on the job for three weeks, she is also in the process of kick-starting new programs.
The library staff was recently restructured to concentrate on targeted areas, so in a sense everyone has a different role. Rebecca Biers is in charge of the children’s programming and Kathleen McStay will be working on the adults, which includes plans for a book club. McKean will work on building up the young adult collection and associated programs.
“Rebecca started the same day I did and Kathleen officially started her new position a week before,” McKean said.
One program McKean would like to launch is a “Tale Waggin’ Tutors” program where children can practice reading to dogs. She’d also like to start a book club for young adults.
Both libraries have annual fundraising events coming up and the librarians will be attending their respective functions. The Wine and Cheese Fete in Baden is Saturday, Sept. 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. Taste of Autumn in Ambridge is from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the events. Tickets are available at the library.
Like Ambridge Connection on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.