Library names new director

Former director admitted to hospital over weekend

By Ben Moger-Williams
Observer staff

The Williston Selectboard on Monday announced that Martine Fiske, currently head of Shelburne’s Pierson Library, has been hired as the new director of Williston’s library.

It is the second time in three months that Williston has hired an official away from the town of Shelburne. In July, former Shelburne School Principal Walter Nardelli was hired as district principal for Williston.

It was also noted at Monday’s meeting that former Dorothy Alling Memorial Library Director Rickie Emerson, who served the library for 30 years before retiring in July, was suffering from an infection and was admitted to Fletcher Allen Health Care over the weekend. The hospital listed Emerson as being in fair condition Tuesday.

Town Manager Rick McGuire said “Marti” Fiske was chosen from a field of more than 30 applicants.

Fiske, a Bolton resident, said she was excited about her new job.

“Not only is it a little bit of a step up for me, but its closer to home as well,” she said.

She said Williston’s larger community, larger library budget and the new opportunity were factors in her decision to leave the Shelburne library.

“It was a hard decision,” she said. “I have been very happy here (at Pierson), but it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

A committee made up of Assistant Library Director Debbie Roderer; McGuire and several members of the library board narrowed the candidates down to six, and finally decided on Fiske after a series of interviews.

“I think she will bring a good, new energy to the library, and she is ready for the challenge we’re going to present,” said Steve Mease, library board chairman. “I think it’s a good match.”

As library director, Fiske will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the library, setting the budget and policies, and hiring personnel, Mease said. “She will set the tone for what happens at the library,” he said.

Fiske has served as director of Pierson Library since 1999, and will begin at Dorothy Alling on Oct. 17. She will receive an annual salary of $47,000, according to McGuire.

Before becoming director of Pierson Library, Fiske was a library media specialist at Fletcher Elementary School in Fletcher. She also held that position at St. Albans City Elementary School and Fairfield Central School. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from Castleton State College, and a Master’s degree in library and information science from Syracuse University in Syracuse, N.Y.

Fiske will replace long-time director Emerson, who retired from the post this summer after working at the library since 1976.

Emerson and Fiske have known each other for about six years, Fiske said. She said for her first six months, she will be learning about the community and how the library works, and counting on Emerson’s ideas and suggestions.

“I have tremendous respect for Rickie and I don’t want to change things willy-nilly if they don’t need to be, “ Fiske said.