New librarian to work on building improvements
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | September 02,2014
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Abby Noland is the new director of the Rutland Free Library. Noland replaces Paula Baker, who retired.
When she saw a job listing in Vermont, Abby Noland did what a librarian does.
“We did a lot of research,” the new director of the Rutland Free Library said. “It’s the second happiest state in the U.S. It’s the second healthiest state in the U.S.”
Noland’s daughter is starting as a freshman at the University of New Hampshire, so the family capped off its research by passing through Rutland on the way through for a campus visit.
“When we hit Vermont, my kids were like, “Oh, Mom, this is it,’” she said. “They fell in love with Rutland.”
Noland’s first day was Aug. 18. She was still settling in last week.
“I’m trying to acclimate,” she said. “I can’t get used to this office — it’s so big.”
Noland arrives from the Preble County, Ohio, library system. During her time there she oversaw the conversion to a consortium catalog — a more intense version of inter-library loan. She said Rutland has already made that conversion, and that she is spending her time getting a feel for the local system.
“I am taking everything in,” she said. “I am going to work with my staff on the internal goals. I absolutely want to work with the board on the overall goals of improvements to the building.”
Rutland quickly impressed her with how welcoming it was.
“We moved in, all the neighbors greeted us, asked ‘what do you need,’” she said. “It’s got that small-town atmosphere, but it’s more sophisticated. The cafes, the galleries, the small shops, the music, the farmers markets — there’s always something going on.”
Also welcoming, Noland said, has been her predecessor, the newly retired Paula Baker. Baker stayed on for a few extra days to help Noland with the transition.
“She’s an incredible mentor,” Noland said. “I am amazed at what she’s done in the community. I am eager to stand on the shoulders of giants. I can never fill her shoes.”