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Monday July 28, 2014

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    Richard Fortin, 26
    Library Director
    Charles M. Bailey Public Library

    Since becoming director two
    years ago, Richard Fortin has
    “transformed†the Charles M. Bailey
    Public Library in Winthrop.
    Circulation and attendance have
    nearly doubled, and 500 new
    members joined in Fortin’s first
    year, notes Margy Burns Knight, an
    author who nominated him for the
    Forty Under 40 award.

    “Thanks to Richard the library
    is, once again, a central part of
    our rural community,†Knight

    Mary Jane Auns, library board
    chair, notes “the great increase in
    the number of teenagers and young
    adults who use the library.†Thanks
    to a staffer’s suggestion and Fortin’s
    followup, the library now provides
    services to nursing home residents.
    Fortin encourages patrons to bring
    in food for the local pantry, in lieu
    of fines; he “created one of the best
    library Web sites in the state, and
    a mobile app for it,†adds Shelby
    Monroe of Lithgow Library in

    Fortin’s view: “I’ve been entrusted
    with a great responsibility to
    provide cultural resources and
    information to the public, and
    I’ve just responded to what I saw
    people wanted. I don’t believe much
    in individual awards. I see this
    (award) more as a reflection on the
    Board of Trustees, the staff and the

    Fortin grew up near Augusta
    and studied library science and
    photography at UMaine Augusta.
    “Public service had always attracted
    me. When I was a boy, I wanted to
    be in the NHL.â€Â

    He is also a professional
    photographer who particularly
    enjoys doing weddings in Maine
    settings such as Camden; a hockey
    player in a local men’s league; and a
    musician/songwriter who’s played
    drums and guitars in several bands.
    Asked whom he’d choose to play the
    Forty Under 40 event at Hadlock,
    Fortin names Portland’s The Other
    Bones and Brenda. He and his wife,
    Kristin, and their 5-year-old son,
    Ethan, live in Farmingdale.

    > Return to the Forty under 40 index

Portland Press Herald

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