What’s Happening at the Atlantic City Free Public Library?

By Norris Hite Jr., Editor

What’s Happening at the Atlantic City Free Public Library?
Melissa McGeary is the new assistant director of the Atlantic City Free Public Library. Source: Atlantic City Free Public Library.

McGeary promoted to Assistant Director

The Atlantic City Free Public Library’s Board of Trustees has named staff member Melissa McGeary the library’s new assistant director. The assistant director position had been vacant since 2016, when Robert Rynkiewicz left that role to replace Maureen Sherr Frank as Library Director after she retired.

McGeary began her career at the library in 2017 as a part-time library associate and climbed the ladder, earning new job titles and increasing responsibilities. She became the Adult Service Librarian in 2018. She was promoted to Senior Librarian, Head of Adult Services in 2019 and held that title until becoming assistant director. Her many responsibilities have included supervising the Circulation Department and Richmond Branch Library, planning adult programs and developing the adult collection of materials.

McGeary has spearheaded many new library programs and initiatives in the last several years. She has also written or co-written many grants that have resulted in new or expanded library services (including a new computer lab), and increased technology access for the public. Some of those accomplishments include:

▪ Received grant funding for many projects, including the Path to the American Dream Project, Communication Skills for the 21st Century, Atlantic City Digital Connection Project, Atlantic City Digital Skills Training Project, New Jersey State Library (NJSL) + Partners Literacy Grant Project and the Building Employment Skills Training (BEST) Program

▪ Brought NJSL Fresh Start @ Your Library program to the city to help formerly incarcerated individuals transition back into the community

▪ Co-founded Atlantic County Reentry Task Force

▪ Implemented a fine-free policy on overdue materials to make the library more inclusive

▪ Created a library collection development policy

▪ Developed new and diverse programs, including the Black Stories Matter Virtual Book Club

▪ Presented at the 2022 New Jersey Library Association Conference

“I hope to continue removing barriers to access and ensuring that the library is accessible and welcoming to all members of the community,” McGeary said. “A big part of that means reexamining some of the library's policies and procedures to see where we need to improve to be more equitable and inclusive.”

McGeary earned her Master’s of Library and Information Science degree from Rutgers University in 2018. She also holds an Associate of Arts in Humanities from Atlantic Cape Community College and Bachelor of Arts in History from Stockton University.

Programs Planned for American Archives Month

The Atlantic City Free Public Library has scheduled a couple of programs in recognition of October being American Archives Month.

The first program — Building Your Family Tree — was held Friday, Oct. 6. It was to explore how to start research on your family, from the general to the specific using material within the archive. The library will provide a family tree outline.

The second program will be Deciphering Old Photographs — The Tales They Tell on Friday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. Looking at old photographs in the library archive — participants are also invited to bring in their own — and learn how to look for clues about when they were taken, the type of photo and other details that might provide more information.

Registration is required for the programs, which will be held at the Main Library. Visit the Help Desk, call (609) 345-2269, ext. 3066, or email jmorillo@acfpl.org. Also, be sure to visit the library’s Atlantic City Heritage Collection’s Facebook and Instagram pages throughout October for archives-related posts.

Ghosts (presentation) Coming to Richmond Branch on October 18

The Atlantic City Free Public Library invites the public to visit its Richmond Branch Library location (4115 Ventnor Avenue) on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. for an evening of education and intrigue about ghosts and hauntings.

South Jersey Ghost Research will lead the program. Attendees will watch a video about SJGR and its investigation work. The video encompasses photos, the equipment used and spirit voices known as Electronic Voice Phenomena or EVPs, that were recorded during investigations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. The presentation will close with a question-and-answer session.

For more information on these and other Atlantic City Free Library events, contact Don Latham at (609) 345-2269, ext. 3112.


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