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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 continues.

    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 Augusta.

    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 town.”

    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.”

    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.

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