MERIDEN — When officials cut the ribbon on the newly renovated and expanded Meriden Public Library building Friday morning, longtime city librarian Becky Starr will be among those in attendance. And she will have a new title: library director.
The Meriden Public Library Board of Trustees, during a special meeting Monday afternoon, voted unanimously to appoint Starr to the role.
It’s not an entirely new role for Starr, who had served as the library’s acting director since June 2022.
Starr’s first order of business was overseeing the final days of preparation ahead of the reopening of the building at 105 Miller St. after a more than 18-month-long renovation and expansion project. On Monday, most of the shelving, books, computers, furniture and other materials appeared to be in place. The next task will be welcoming patrons back to the space, after library staff worked out of a scaled down operation in the Meriden Mall for nearly a year and a half.
Starr, a Berlin resident, first began working for the city of Meriden in 1995 as a performance/budget analyst.
Starr said she worked for former City Manager Roger Kemp and worked with all the city’s department heads at the time. “That’s how I got to know the library director at the time, Marcia Trotta,” Starr said. “She started me on my career.”
It began in 1998, with a public libraries class, which Starr said she loved and kept going. Trotta hired Starr part-time while she worked on her master of library science degree.
“That was my first job here. Then I worked my way up to eventually librarian four, which is what I’m at now,” Starr said. She would later become the head of Adult Reference & Collection Development. In 2020, she became public services coordinator. Two years later, Starr became acting director when former Meriden Public Library Director Clevell Roseboro II resigned to take on a new role in North Carolina.
For Starr, the transition to a leadership role was seamless. “I’ve been here long enough to know what needs to be done. I know the staff. I know the services and I know the people of Meriden,” she said.
Library Board President Thomas Welsh had nothing but praise for Starr, who he said had “done a great job” leading the library over the past year “making the numbers grow while we were in the mall.”
“She has more than proved her worth,” Welsh said.