Amesbury Public Library
Sep 07, 2022
Amie Westphal, Amesbury Library Director
Amesbury Public Library

Amesbury Public Library has a new director in its former interim director, Aimie Westphal.Westphal worked as a customer support librarian at the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium before coming to Amesbury as assistant library director in 2019. She became interim director after Erin Matlin’s departure.

Westphal said she did not formally apply for the position and had only worked at the library for six or seven months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020. “I was really just getting my feet under me and then everything was thrown to the wind, so I wasn’t 100% sure that I was the best fit since I had so much to learn,” she said. The search committee, however, found itself comparing Westphal’s experience and skills to those of the candidates. She was then asked about becoming the next director after the final round of interviews. The Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to make Westphal the new director Jan. 27.

“As I started to do the day-to-day work of the interim director, it seemed much more possible to me that I could be able to do this and be a good fit for the library,” Westphal said.

Library Board of Trustees Chair Anne Campbell said in a press release that the board looks forward to working with Westphal more closely as director. “Aimie has made some wonderful contributions to the library during her time as assistant director and it’s been great to see how she’s helped bring the team together while navigating the challenges of the pandemic,” Campbell said.

The new library director will start at an annual salary of $82,000 and is expected to be deeply involved in the library’s strategic planning initiative to create a three-year plan that would include updating the mission and vision statements. “We had a long-range plan which expired in 2020 and we were starting the process to begin the long-range plan then but the pandemic hit and we had to stop,” Westphal said. She said serving the community and getting it involved in the long-range planning for the library are among her top priorities.

“We also want to update our technology so that we can better serve our community,” Westphal said. “We have been working on that for the past year and a half with our IT director and we have a really good working relationship. But it is a slow but sure process.”

Mayor Kassandra Gove said in a press release that Westphal did a great job of serving as interim director. “Aimie has strong relationships with the trustees, the Friends of the Library, city staff and the community,” Gove said. “She’s fully qualified and has successfully led the staff during a tough transition time. As a city, we are committed to providing growth opportunities for our staff and Aimie is the perfect choice to lead our library into the future.”