Wellesley letter to the editor: Library Trustees candidate Stephen Maire

To the Editor:

My name is Stephen Maire; I am running for a position as a Library Trustee and request your support in the upcoming election on March 1, 2022.

I came to Wellesley in 2008 and have been active in the community with Troop 185 of the Boy Scouts since moving to town. I am myself an Eagle Scout and count the Reading merit badge as one of the first that I earned. I am also active with Community Action Partners, a program of the Harvard Business School alumni association that provides pro-bono consulting work for Boston area non-profits. The clients I have worked with have included museums, colleges, and social service organizations.

Prior to moving to Wellesley while living overseas, I served for 6 years as Trustee and Chairman of the Board of International School Bangkok, a K-12 school in Thailand providing education to 2,000 students in the expatriate community. Long ago, as a high school student, I worked in my town library shelving books and shelf reading.

As a candidate for Library Trustee, I am running against two individuals who have given long and valuable service to the library. Notwithstanding their contributions, I bring many years of service for the Town as well as new creative ideas and skills to make our library better.

The timing of this election is critical for the library. In this year, the library will craft its next five-year strategic plan. The last two plans brought us a $2.9 million renovation of the library completed this past year. With this renovation complete, it is reasonable to ask: What did the renovation bring to town residents? Did the renovation bring us something that we wanted from the library? Did it enhance the value of the library?

If you cannot answer these questions the problem may lie in what the library has identified in its last two strategic plans as a major issue: communication with the residents.

And yet, for all that communication is deemed a critical strategic issue for the library, there seems little discussion of it in the Trustee meetings and little active effort to enhance communication.

The library aspires to be a center of our community. Clearly, the library is a town jewel; anyone who loves reading and books, one cannot but love the Wellesley Library.

While the other candidates for Library Trustee will no doubt cite their stewardship, care and preservation of this jewel, my dream is different: I seek to realize the aspiration of the library to be a true center of town: a forum where all can participate in the civic, recreational and intellectual discourse that the library promises.

I thank you for your consideration and ask you for your vote on March 1st .

Sincerely yours,

Stephen Maire
Denton Road, Wellesley