Director of EBPL Announces Retirement
MaryEllen Firestone, Director of the East Brunswick Public Library [EBPL], will retire as of June 1, 2015.
Ms. Firestone has been an integral part of EBPL since 1990. She served as a part-time reference librarian, cataloging and programming librarian, Assistant Director, and Director.
During MaryEllen’s 25-year career with the EBPL, she focused on the special populations that are part of the diverse East Brunswick community. In 1996, she was awarded the American Library Association’s Bessie Boehm Moore Award, for recognition of her creation of a computer literacy program for seniors. In 2000, her commitment to English as a Second Language and literacy programs at EBPL were recognized when she was asked to join the Literacy Volunteers of Middlesex’s Board of Directors, later named Literacy Programs of New Jersey [LPNJ]. She served as President of LPNJ for 6 years. In 2011, her literacy work was recognized with a Chamber Choice award from the East Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2014, eight local affiliates of LPNJ merged with the state organization to form Literacy New Jersey, for which Ms. Firestone serves as a board member.
In 2002, when appointed Assistant Director, she embraced the role of Library ambassador by encouraging the Library to celebrate the community’s many cultures. The Library began to host celebrations of Asian Indian history and culture as well as annual Chinese New Year celebrations. Ms. Firestone forged many partnerships with community groups and organizations that positioned the Library as the community center for the town. Ms. Firestone also became a staff champion by encouraging professional development, supporting staff initiatives, and consistently acknowledging and celebrating staff members’ many achievements.
Since 2009, when Ms. Firestone began her tenure as Director, she helped form the Library’s Foundation to garner long term support for the Library; supported the creation of the [now] Business Resource Connection, which aids small businesses in the area with programs and research; and assisted in creating the Just for the Health of It initiative, which created a strong consumer health resource service.
The Library and community thank MaryEllen Firestone for her 25 years of service to the Library and the East Brunswick community, and wish her well in her retirement. She plans to continue her literacy work with Literacy New Jersey as a board member, as well as enjoy traveling and leisure reading.