Amy Rhilinger began as a kids’s library assistant 19 years in the past and rose via the ranks of the Attleboro Public Library.

Mayor Paul Heroux lately appointed her director of the library after the departure of Christine Johnson, who held the put up for 2 years and eight months.

Rhilinger was Deputy Director for seven years and earlier than that he was the “Tween Teen Librarian”.

She holds a grasp’s diploma in library science from Simmons Faculty in Boston and involves work at a time of turbulence.

She mentioned her foremost aim in the meanwhile was to “maintain a gentle course”.

A lot of the turbulence comes from numerous closures and openings and restricted use attributable to the coronavirus.

On high of that, there may be an ongoing $ 6.9 million library renovation venture that features inside and exterior work and isn’t anticipated to be accomplished till August.

Whereas the library is open, Rhilinger mentioned it is best to name first to verify entry to the constructing shall be allowed as there are occasions when elements of it will likely be closed.

Typically there are workers shortages, particularly on Thursdays and Saturdays, which causes issues, however at present volunteers are filling the gaps as a lot as attainable, she mentioned.

Nonetheless, curbside service continues.

Aged 49, he grew up in North Attleboro and lived in Plainville, however is now a resident of Attleboro.

She mentioned she needed to increase the library’s collaboration with numerous exterior teams comparable to Audubon in Oak Knoll and the Attleboro Land Belief, which function instructional teams.

“The library is greater than books and flicks,” mentioned Rhilinger, noting that the ability is a member of the Attleboro Self-Sufficiency Coalition, whose mission is “to empower people and strengthen communities. “.

It is usually essential to behave as a supply of data for individuals who need assistance paying their payments or discovering meals to feed themselves and their households, she mentioned.

This was particularly essential throughout the pandemic when at one level unemployment in Attleboro soared to 19.3%.

This stays essential as a result of pre-pandemic unemployment ranges haven’t returned.

The newest figures present the unemployment price is 6.8%, greater than double the three.2% instantly earlier than the pandemic.

“We discover that folks have by no means needed to discover assist discovering meals or paying payments,” Rhilinger mentioned, noting that data to resolve these points was posted on the library doorways when she got here. was closed.

“We need to increase this service and make folks extra conscious,” Rhilinger mentioned.

The brand new director will handle a finances of $ 1.1 million and a full-time workers of 13 folks.

Not less than one among these posts is vacant, its former being that of deputy director.

There are 12 part-time workers.

George W. Rhodes may be reached at 508-236-0432.

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