the only paid library staff member serving Liberty and Montville

Liberty library director Barbara Rehmeyer receives national award

Tue, 03/14/2023 - 1:00pm

Story Location:
Liberty Library
59 Main Street
Liberty, ME 04949
United States

LIBERTY — Liberty Library Director Barbara Rehmeyer has been recognized as “Solo Librarian of the Year” by the Association for Rural & Small Libraries. The award honors the solo or nearly-solo library worker who best carries out their library’s mission, demonstrates an exceptional commitment to their community, and reflects the ARSL’s values of accessibility, responsive service, intellectual freedom, professionalism, collaboration, and accountability.

Rehmeyer was a founding member of the Liberty Library Association in 1995 and served on its Board of Directors for many years, including as President. She received her Master’s in Library and Informational Science in 1998 and worked as a school librarian and technology integrator until retiring in 2011, volunteering in the Liberty Library throughout this time. In 2018, she was hired as the Library Director, the library’s only paid staff. 

In addition to managing the Liberty Library’s collection and daily operations, Rehmeyer also organizes programs and maintains the computers and wi-fi network. She publishes a monthly newsletter and manages the Liberty Library webpage at Rehmeyer writes numerous grant applications and coordinates multiple fundraisers every year, including pie sales, plant sales, raffles, ongoing book sales, and a yearly annual appeal.

In 2022, Rehmeyer oversaw the installation of two heat pumps and new LED lighting, funded almost entirely by grants she applied for on behalf of the library. Rehmeyer also expanded the library’s digital offerings through Hoopla and Download Library, which were invaluable during the COVID pandemic and continue to be extremely popular with patrons of all ages, according to the Liberty Library Association, in a news release. Rehmeyer has served on several statewide youth services committees and currently reviews children’s books for the Maine State Library committee, garnering free books for the Liberty Library.

Rehmeyer’s proudest achievements for the library feature its services for the community’s children. She created a weekly Story Time program in 2013 and has run it ever since.

“Ten years later,” she said, “those kids still come to the library to borrow books and are enthusiastic about their library and greeting ‘Ms. Barb.’” 

The library’s Summer Reading program, with funding from area businesses, enlists young patrons to read books to earn money for a worthy cause. In 2021, the money was donated to the Waldo County Pet Food Pantry, and this year proceeds will go to the Liberty Area Food Pantry. 

“The Liberty Library Association is thrilled to see Barbara receive national recognition for her tireless work for the library and its patrons,” said Association President Sara Salley. “She is a wonderful and dedicated leader who makes the Liberty Library a very special place and a treasured part of the community. We are so proud of Barbara and can’t imagine anyone more deserving of this award than she is.”

The Liberty Library is a non-profit organization that serves the communities of Liberty and Montville. It is part of the MILS consortium (Maine InfoNet Library System for Maine's Small Libraries) and offers a full range of in-person and online programs and materials for children and adults. It is located at 59 Main Street in Liberty.