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October 10, 2018


Northwood Is Celebrating Library Director of 2018!

Northwood  library donna2016.jpg

Donna Bunker, a 32 year veteran of the Chesley Memorial Library in Northwood has been named Library Director of the 2018 Year by the New Hampshire Library Trustees Association.

On Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 10:30 am to 12:00 pm the Library will be celebrating Donna’s accomplishments with a presentation of the award.  


Who is Donna Bunker?  As Trustees we struggled with writing a letter of application.  How could we express our thoughts regarding Donna Bunker without using all the superlatives that are generally used when describing a person of quality?  How do we express the essence of the totality of Donna Bunker without using the commonly used words, such as, AWESOME, GREAT, EXCELLENT, IMPRESSIVE, SPECTATULAR, WONDERFUL, TREMENDOUS, or  FANTASTIC.  Maybe we just say, “She walks on water”.  Actually, we do say that amongst ourselves and laugh because we are often at a loss to express our respect for her abilities as a leader and her work ethic.  The Trustees trust her explicitly because she is open and transparent.  Donna conducts herself with everyone the same way.  She is respected at Town Hall because she is polite and willing to listen and cooperate, as well as her willingness to be transparent with the Library budget.  Donna places notes on line items that require an increase or decrease.  The Budget Committee and Selectmen have few questions on her budget because she has noted the reasons for the changes.  As Trustees we are grateful Donna is well prepared with back-up when she brings a problem or situation to us.  We always have an educated discussion on issues because of the prep-work Donna has done.  She knows Library and Employment law and educates us so we make good, solid decisions.


Donna has been Library Director for 32 years.  As a young woman, she actually began her career as a library assistant at Chesley Memorial.  Her first day on the job required her to close the library at night.  Hours before closing, the police arrived outside the library with guns pulled, crouched around the outside of the library looking for an armed suspect.  Donna secured the building until the police told her to lock up and go home.  She was tested at a very young age on how to react to a serious situation.  She built on that experience to become the extraordinary leader she is today.


Donna has used ideas to create a community center for all ages; a place where everyone is welcomed with smiles and respect.  What you may not know of are the ideas that did not work as originally planned; like the “Memory Café”.  However, it did evolve into a “Senior Café” that is regularly attended by about 12 people.  Donna doesn’t just give up on an idea, she tweaks it, offers it at a different time to attract patrons that may be interested.  The weekly knitting/crochet class became a one-on-one personal class held at times for the convenience of the patrons interested.  Donna works an idea until all options are exhausted.  On May 3rd she scheduled an all afternoon “Choco Taco” party.  Ice cream with chocolate and toppings in a taco shell; what’s not to like?   Forty people attended.  They all didn’t come at the same time so they all had a convenient place to park.


That is the only complaint we hear; “The parking lot is full and I couldn’t find a place to park.”  We know it is true.  The library is so often filled with groups like the Evening and Afternoon Book Clubs, the Children’s Story Hour, Writers Workshop and Senior Café.  Donna now schedules craft sessions all day just as she did for the “Choco Taco Party” so that patrons can come at a time convenient to themselves and find an open place to park.  While there is a Park & Ride across the street patrons can use, we love to hear that complaint because the Trustees know it means the Library is an important place for residents.


The Friends of the Library worked very hard with Donna to design and fund a library sign. It truly is the talk of the town.   Donna uses that sign for publicizing library events and to congratulate young patrons who have completed the 1000 Books before Kindergarten program.  Donna’s staff takes a picture of the youngster next to the sign and publishes it on the website.  What does that say about encouraging parents to read to their children?  


Another thing the Trustees hear all the time, “I read the sign on my way home. I never knew the library had so much to offer.”  Many people who come into the library to use the computers are looking to create a resume to procure a job.  So often the staff help with the resume creation but also offer information of job openings in the area.  Many people have been successful in finding a job because they came to the library and the library staff helped.  Donna’s leadership skills are reflected in her employees.  They follow her lead in every aspect they are involved in the library.  They are caring, compassionate and professional.  She encourages them to share their ideas and helps to execute them.  


Community members expressed their support for Donna by writing letters to accompany the Trustees application.  Their letters expressed how important Donna and the library are to the Northwood community.  They noted how inclusive and creative she is in bringing new experiences to people.  They wrote how she has worked with every facet of the community to make Chesley Memorial Library a place of support, learning and fun.  Donna has created the “jewel” of Northwood; the Chesley Memorial Library.  Northwood celebrates our New Hampshire Library Director of 2018.












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