New Director Settling in at Clarion Free Library
“Right now I feel like I’ve finally gotten to the point where I understand, mostly, how things have been done,” Snyder told exploreClarion.com.
According to Snyder, he’s had a lot of help settling in.
“Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful. It has blown me away. Everyone has gone above and beyond, and I really appreciate that.”
A Lititz, Lancaster County native, Snyder first came to Clarion a number of years ago as a student. He received a bachelor’s degree in 2010 in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in Library Science, and then received a Master’s of Science in Library Science in 2012.
After graduating, he took on a position as head of technical services at the Pottsville Free Public Library, which serves as the district library center in Schuylkill County.
Nevertheless, Snyder said Clarion was where he wanted to be.
“I have friends in the area, so I always wanted to move back, and I always wanted to be a director. It lined up a little bit earlier than I had planned, but I figured here’s a chance – jump on it.”
While working in Pottsville, he didn’t gain direct experience as a director, but because of how the library there was run, he gained valuable insights and experience.
“We definitely had kind of a ‘governed by committee’ kind of thing where the director had the final say, but would also get our input for certain things.”
While Snyder has developed an understanding of the current system at the Clarion Free Library, he still believes there is more to discover.
“I’m still learning. I think maybe I’ll have to be here a year before I find out all of the little things that need to be done, but then, after that, I’ll definitely be looking to make some changes.”
Although he has a few things in mind, he isn’t quite ready to talk about them just yet.
“I’m still kind of getting a feel for things, and I want to talk to my board before I take any big steps, but, like I said, they’ve been super supportive, and I’m sure they’ll go along with whatever I suggest.”
One thing he is ready to discuss is some new options for fundraising, something which is always important for public libraries.
“There are a few fundraising ideas that I’ve had that have worked at other places that I’m looking forward to bringing here.”
According to Snyder, Pottsville Free Public Library worked with an outside company that provided greens and holes for a miniature golf fundraising event inside the library itself.
“They come in and help you plan out and set up a course, and then you have two days of miniature golf.”
Snyder noted that they usually reserved the first day for higher-end donors, with a more “swanky” kind of atmosphere, then had a reduced rate family day the second day.
“I think this library would do well with that, and it could bring more foot traffic in here.”
While Snyder does have on eye on the future, he’s also planted firmly in the current needs of the library, with much a lot of energy going into preparations for the Autumn Leaf Festival Reception.
“That’s taking up a large chunk of my time.”
Looking forward, Snyder noted there are some things about the Clarion Free Library that he certainly doesn’t want to change at all.
“I know Dan Parker was big about the library being a part of the community, and I very much want to continue that tradition, so if there are any groups out there who are looking for a place for space, they’re welcome to come to the library.”
After taking over Parker’s position as library director, Snyder also has a sense of humor about the thought of taking over Parker’s other local position.
“I made the joke that when I started I was ready to be director, but I was not ready, yet, to be mayor,” Snyder quipped.
“I don’t think that’s in the cards for me, personally. I don’t want to say no, never, but, at this point, it seems unlikely.”
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