Northwood Is Celebrating Library Director of 2018!
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.
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.
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.
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.