Paul Hays seeks re-election to Trustee of Milton Public Library
To the Editor:
My name is Paul Hays, and I am running for re-election for a third term as a Trustee of Milton Public Library. My family and I have been proud residents of Milton for over 19 years, my wife Piel Hollingsworth is a Town Meeting Member and active in Milton Public Schools, and our two children have attended Tucker, Pierce, and currently attend Milton High School.
The Milton Public Library is not only one of the best parts of the town of Milton, it has also become a standout library in the Commonwealth. I am running for re-election to continue the hard work and accomplishments we have begun during the last decade as Trustees, which includes supporting the strong leadership team of William Adamczyk and Sarah Truog, the great Director and Assistant Director of our library.
Over the last six years, the library has significantly strengthened its services and programming. Childrens, teen, and adult on-site programming has expanded every year both in diversity of topics and size of events with 2019 having had the highest overall total attendance of library programs. The range of programming at the library is impressive: from pajama-clad story time and Lego Club to book clubs and guest speakers, there’s something for everyone. We have also moved the library into the digital age with our updated webpage and digital platform with a number of digital subscription apps and e-resources. We have also created an extensive “library of things” which offers useful items for families such as tools, hot spots, laptops, and VHS to digital converters to save old home movies. We have also increased satellite programming and services to expand our outreach into the community, including at programs and events at Fuller Village, in all six public schools, and a booth at the weekly Farmer’s Market.
As a Trustee since 2014, I have supported the the above expansion and modernization of library services and programming. I currently serve as the Chair of the Human Resources Committee and have helped develop and oversee the annual evaluation of the Library Director, administration, and staff. This work includes oversight of the library’s current long-term strategic plan and development of its next ten-year plan. In addition, I worked with the Director to help create and execute the library’s annual community survey, with the goal of hearing from voices across our diverse town, and then analyzing the survey results to inform our priorities and programming.
But perhaps most importantly, the library’s work during this year-long COVID-19 pandemic has been nothing short of incredible. I, along with all Trustees, eagerly supported the director’s push for the immediate re-opening of the library according to state guidelines ensuring library services and programs were available to our town and its many residents struggling during this crisis. We know that the services we provide to the town are essential — including access to books as schools went remote, access to computers, and connection to each other through our (virtual) programming. While many libraries across the Commonwealth remained closed throughout the pandemic, Milton was one of the first to re-open and attained one of the highest circulation rates of both physical and digital material of all public libraries during the last twelve months. This is a powerful testament to the commitment and dedication of our library leadership, staff, and trustees and our belief that our library is an essential resource to the community that must be open and available to serve our town.
We must ensure our library continues to strive toward its goal to be a fully inclusive organization serving every neighborhood of Milton and the citizens of Milton from every demographic group. Milton’s library must be part of the intellectual and cultural development of our growing youth and families while serving and supporting the unique needs of our retirees and long-term residents. A modern library is much more than a quiet place to read the Herald or check out the latest Elephant and Piggie book for our pre-schoolers. It is a modern cultural, educational, and social center for our town and should be an accessible resource and gathering place for community members of all ages.
If re-elected, I will continue to bring my commitment and my thirty years of experience in public education as a science teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent in Boston. A proud Terrier alum, I also serve as an adjunct at the Boston University Wheelock School of Education and Human Development, training the next generation of teachers at the graduate level. My experience as an educator, passion for public-service, and dedication to the town make me an excellent candidate for continued service as a library trustee.
The work continues and so I respectfully ask for your vote on April 27th for re-election to the Milton Public Library Board of Trustees. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Paul S. Hays, Ed.D.