DERRY — Cara Barlow is anxious to learn as much as she can about Derry and its history.
Barlow was named Derry Public Library’s new director and officially started work April 28.
She is settling in to her new position and is ready to learn about her new community and her job leading the 22,000-square-foot library on East Broadway.
The job includes overseeing more than 120,000 items and thousands more available through a library consortium sharing program. The library also has more than 16,700 cardholders, both young and not so young, who come to the library to read, use computers, enjoy programs and seek information.
Barlow comes to the library to replace former director Cheryl Lynch, who retired from her post last summer. Since Lynch’s departure, the library staff handled the daily functions of the facility while a library director search was put in place.
Reference services head Susan Brown took on the role as acting director.
Barlow was chosen from a field of 52 candidates. The Ohio native said she came east to study in Boston.
She wasn’t thrilled with her path at that time and decided to walk into Boston Public Library one day. There, she, said she found her true calling.
“They gave me a job if I agreed to go to library school at night,” she said. “It was a wonderful opportunity.”
Barlow said the Derry job was very appealing to her. She comes to town after working at Nashua Public Library and other libraries.
She has a master’s degree in library science and has served on the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
Through her years working in libraries, Barlow has led reference departments and children’s departments.
She said she is happy to be in Derry, is enjoying meeting and working with the staff, and loves the facility.
“Firs,t I am getting to know the staff, learning the history of the community and town,” she said.
Derry Public Library will also get a new children’s librarian soon, Barlow said. Interviews were taking place this week for a new director to fill the role after former children’s director Evan Bush left the job last month.
“Hopefully, we’ll be filling that position soon,” she said.