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Library Director Hits it Off With Town

Carolyn Mahoney, executive director of the Greenwich Public Library, was persuaded to apply for the position she has held for more than a year on a sunny Sunday afternoon two years ago.

"I had gone down to Baltimore as a birthday gift for my husband to see the Baltimore Orioles and the Red Sox play. And we stopped here in Greenwich, and there were people waiting at the doors to get into this library, and that's always so impressive," said Mahoney.

Mahoney grew up in Massachusetts and started her career shelving books at a local library in high school and college. She has worked in many more libraries since in administrative positions in Litchfield and Lexington and was director of the 26 branches of the Boston Public Library system.

"While I enjoyed the people I worked with and the neighborhoods which were all so different, it was really an administrative job ... and I didn't have enough time on the floor, working with people and developing a relationship with the staff, so I wanted to get back to being a director," Mahoney said.

Going from 26 branches to Greenwich's three — the Greenwich Public Library, Cos Cob Library and Byram Shubert Library — was a smooth transition for Mahoney. She said her main role has been to listen to the longtime staff as well as the trustees in revamping certain programs.

"I learned my lesson from the earliest days of being young and going into a place and thinking you know it all," Mahoney joked.

She said she hopes the library will continue to expand technology.

"It's been a process of working collaboratively with the staff to identify areas that we don't necessarily have to change, but we have to think about in a different way," she said.

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