By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – Shrewsbury Public Library Director Ellen Dolan was celebrated March 8 at a reception in her honor at the library, as she is set to retire Friday, April 3. Dolan has had a remarkable, 40-year career serving in her field, and served at the helm of the Shrewsbury Library since 2005.
Current Assistant Director Priya Rathnam is set to become the new director and has been in the process of transition to her new role for the past several weeks.
The community room at the library was overflowing with guests that included Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, State Senator Michael Moore (D-Millbury), State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury), selectmen, School Committee members, library staff, town department heads, Library Trustees and members of the Friends of the Library.
Rathnam presided over a short but heartfelt program, including accolades from officials in attendance.
“It was more than work, it was more than a job, it was really a labor of love for library services for the people of this community” remarked Polito. “Ellen made the case for library services in Shrewsbury and how to articulate a message of why library services bring value to a community and relevance.”
Kane reminisced about the opening day of the newly renovated library noting Dolan’s leadership in making it happen. She said that Dolan set the bar high for library management and that she has been a role model to others across the Commonwealth.
“You showed us that libraries matter, that they enrich our lives and they enrich to community – you are a consummate professional,” noted Selectmen Chair Maurice DePalo.
Dolan was humble as she thanked everyone for their kind words and for those who came to celebrate.
“I wanted to express how deeply grateful I am to have worked in a field I love and to have been the beneficiary of incredible support, guidance and contributions from so many wonderful people,” Dolan remarked. “In many ways my life’s work in public libraries has been about sharing a treasure. I spent years working to extol the power and the value of the public library and in sharing the idea that a good library is a community treasure.”
Dolan’s immediate retirement plans include traveling and devoting more time to her family.