Change can sometimes promise great things

It’s sometimes hard to accept change, especially when the status quo is working nicely. But sometimes, change is thrust upon us, like it or not, and in those instances it’s best to embrace the change and make it as positive and productive as possible.

Such is the case at the Pine Plains Free Library, which has seen much change in past months, and really, in the past few years (but that’s its own story). Since December, however, there’s been a change in leadership both at the head librarian level and on the Board of Directors. The changes come on the heels of two retirements: former Library Director Marguerite Hill and former Board of Directors President Jim Mara.

Both Hill and Mara served the community well. They were engaged, hard working, encouraging and, at times, inspiring. The pair kept things together during years of transition and upheaval. They were steady, calming forces when the library had to move from its new home to its old home and then back to its new home once again. During that time there was a tenant dispute, a foreclosure and a bankruptcy sale to contend with. Hill and Mara did so with wisdom, wit and grace.

Now, after Hill served 40-plus years in various capacities at the library and Mara spent six years as board president, there’s new blood pumping through the heart of the library. 

Veronica Stork is the new library director and Diana Woolis is the new board president. Both promise great things for the library’s future. There’s talk of new programs, additional workshops, extended hours and more on the horizon.

And while many were sad to see Hill and Mara go, sometimes it’s a good thing to have a fresh start, with new ideas and positive energy. Certainly for an institution like the Pine Plains Free Library, the promise of a brighter future is encouraging. Patrons should rejoice at what the changes could mean to them and their families.

Finding new ways to entice those patrons back to the library week after week is a challenge — and now Stork and Woolis can see how their ideas work. Maybe they’ll improve things at the library, and maybe they won’t — at first. Growing pains are a part of the process, but we like to believe that good will result in the end.

Woolis, who already served with Mara on the Board of Directors before becoming president, worked alongside her predecessor in developing a five-year plan to improve the library. That’s excellent; she can bring that experience forward as she leads the board through 2017 and beyond. 

Stork is admittedly young, but her verve and energy should do wonders for the library’s programming as well as for its membership drive.

Both women instill confidence, at least in this newspaper, that the Pine Plains Free Library is only getting started. It’s importance in the community won’t falter for the recent departures, but be reinforced by the new additions. Pine Plains is an amazing little community with a jewel of a library. Do your part and consider becoming a member. While there, introduce yourself to Stork and Woolis — there to make the Pine Plains Free Library a beacon of learning for all the Harlem Valley to see.