SCARBOROUGH — Richard “Chip” Schrader is ready to step into the library director role at Scarborough’s library. Long-time library director of the Scarborough Public Library, Nancy Crowell, is retiring this month.

Schrader described his journey to becoming a librarian. First, he was an English major with a passion for film. “When that dream fizzled, I remembered my grandmother suggesting that I become a librarian.” Schrader first library position was a temporary position in Kittery. He worked his way up to circulation supervisor. After working at the library in Kittery, he said he “never looked back.” He was director of libraries in Sanford and Springvale for 11 years.

Schrader said librarianship was the right fit for his interests in “literature, writing, films, music, pop culture and science. … The career is an outlet for my constant curiosity.”

He was drawn to the Scarborough library for many reasons, he said. He has personal connections to the Scarborough community as he has dozens of family members in the area, and said he has respected and admired the Scarborough Public Library for years.

Schrader also has appreciation and admiration for retiring SPL director Crowell. “I have long appreciated Nancy Crowell’s sense of humor, intelligence, and levity and always got the sense that I would relate well with any community she worked with.” Schrader said he felt strongly he should apply for the position and didn’t want to regret not applying. He was impressed with the library’s reputation for innovation. He said the Scarborough Public Library was the first library in Maine to have e-books. “The staff are also well known throughout the region and state for their talent and commitment to service, the possibilities are exciting to think about with this community.”

The staff at the Louis B. Goodall Memorial Library in Sanford library said they are sad to see Schrader go, but also happy for him and their time together. Jason Fenimore, reference librarian/interlibrary loan coordinator, has been at the Sanford library for 20 years. He said that Shrader, or “Chip” as he says everyone calls him, took the library director position at the beginning of the pandemic. “To be honest, I poached him from his position at Springvale Library which is located 3 miles north of us.” Fenimore said he wanted to “put a bug” in Schrader’s ear as the librarian Jackie McDougal was retiring after 43 years with the Sanford library.


“Everyone at Goodall knew Chip and liked him immensely,” Fenimore said. “We thought we might not be able to get him, but we were very fortunate that he applied.” He described Schrader as a kind person who never failed to lift people’s spirits.

Fenimore said he understands Schrader’s move but says Shrader’s impact on the Goodall library was huge and will be missed. He highlighted a grant Schrader wrote that “was beautiful in its sentiment in what he believed the community of Sanford needed in order to thrive in the coming decades.” Fenimore said that Schrader was able to make you laugh until you cry, “I recommend for anyone lucky enough to experience it with another human being.”

Schrader says he is looking forward to getting to know the Scarborough community. His vision for the library is to carry on traditional services, and he said, “print is not dying, and many readers are coming back to it.” He wants the library to continue to be innovative as a center for “emerging technologies to provide access to new gadgets and services,”  and partner with local organizations.

“While everyone will miss Nancy  as much as I will, my greatest efforts will be to carry her vision forward,” Schrader. “Personally, and professionally, it is a great personal achievement to be Nancy Crowell’s successor.”

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