MERIDEN – Berlin resident Becky Starr has been named acting director of the Meriden Public Library. The long-time city librarian was promoted after Clevell Roseboro II stepped down as director to accept a new role in an academic setting in his home state of North Carolina.
Starr will serve as acting director until at least the time when a $13 million project to renovate and expand the library’s home on Miller Street is complete. Currently, the library is located at Meriden Mall.
Roseboro described the transition to the mall space as one of his biggest accomplishments during his tenure in Meriden. The outgoing director sees the use of former commercial spaces, like malls, as the start of a new trend for libraries across New England.
Moments before he spoke with the Record-Journal, Roseboro motioned to Starr when he addressed library staff and city officials in saying he believed the library will be left “in good hands.”
Thomas Welsh, who chairs the library building committee and serves as vice president of the Library Board of Trustees, said Starr is well-positioned to assume leadership of the library “with virtually no hiccups.”
For Starr, the appointment appears to be a natural next step during her 25-year tenure with the Meriden Public Library. She joined the library’s staff in 1997, after having previously worked in the city manager’s office as a budget analyst.
Starr said she became familiar with the city’s department heads at the time, including then library director Marcia Trotta. Starr said it was Trotta who first suggested she should consider becoming a librarian.
Starr said she took a class, loved it, and then pursued a master’s degree in library science. She started as a part-time Librarian 1, and was eventually promoted to Librarian 4 — the level just below director.
Starr said what drew her to the library profession was the fact it combines two loves: customer service and research.
Starr said in her first career as an accounting manager, she loved working with people. She also enjoyed the management side — encouraging staff members to develop their own skills.
“So when I got to the library, I could use those skills to help the public,” Starr said. “You can make a big difference in a library. You can help people who really absolutely need your help.”
Starr described the Meriden Public Library renovation as “a big challenge.” But as a veteran staff member who “knows the business” of library services, she’s committed to ensuring the library continues to serve the community.
So preparing for the library, which is currently downsized staffing-wise for a full move back into a renovated building is a challenge, but one Starr said she is geared up for. “It will be exciting,” she said.