Jenna Mayotte, the new director of the Falmouth Memorial Library, said her first priority will be getting the library up to speed after a forced hiatus caused by the coronavirus. Chance Viles / The Forecaster

FALMOUTH — The new director of the Falmouth Memorial Library said she is excited to get to work and get the library back on track after recent disruptions.

Jenna Mayotte, who started at her new position June 17, had been the assistant director at the Portland Public Library since 2016. Prior to that, she worked at the Syracuse University Library in New York, where she specialized in business and management.

Mayotte said between the decision by her predecessor, Andi Jackson-Darling, to retire after eight years and disruptions in service caused by the coronavirus pandemic, her main goal is to get the library back on track.

The library closed May 2019 for extensive renovations. A temporary library was housed at the Mason-Motz Activity Center on Middle Road, but that closed mid-March due to the pandemic.

Renovations are now in the final stages, according to library Board of Trustees President Steven Knapp said. Work that remains to be done includes minor landscaping and installing shelves. Circulating materials also need to be taken out of storage, categorized and organized.

Knapp said work slowed down due to the pandemic and did not have a firm date the library will reopen.

“I see the first few months as bringing the staff back together. It’s hard enough for a team to go through a change and they are having a change in leadership at the same time as the pandemic … (and) the renovation, so we are going to rebuild that team,” Mayotte said.

“These things are always bittersweet, we are sad to see (Andi Jackson-Darling) go, she’s done phenomenal leading it through change, but we are excited about having Jenna there and someone new always brings a fresh perspective,” Knapp said.

Council Chairwoman Amy Kuhn said she and her colleagues are “thrilled to welcome Jenna to Falmouth; she is coming in at an exciting time for the library and we wish her all the best.” 

A date for reopening remains to be seen as Gov. Janet Mills’ executive orders remain in place. In the meantime, Mayotte is also looking to improve overall safety at the library.

“We want to serve the public and bring people back in, but we know we aren’t entirely safe yet. We aren’t selling things, we are circulating and all of our stuff comes back to us,” Mayotte said. 

Mayotte, who lives in Gorham, said she always dreamed of being a public library director, following in the footsteps of her aunt.

“I wanted to be more involved in the community and have an impact on my neighbors,” Mayotte said. “Falmouth is a gorgeous town with a gorgeous library and the more I learned about it the more I wanted to do it. It was difficult to leave Portland but I’m excited.”

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