Getting to Know Kim Tolson, New Millis Public Library Director

J.D. O’Gara
Issue Date: 
April, 2018
Article Body: 

“It’s great. I feel so welcomed,” says new Millis Public Library Director Kim Tolson. Most recently branch librarian at the Concord Free Public Library, the new director, who holds and MLS degree from Simmons and a BA from UMass, Amherst, knows the area well from her experience in the Circulation Department and as Teen Librarian and then, Head of Youth Services at the Medfield Public Library, where she began her career a decade ago.
Libraries, especially public libraries “encompass everything I’m most interested in in a career,” says Tolson. “Public service is very important to me, and public libraries are really open to every age, ability, economic status. You can come here and all of our resources are available to you.”
A lot of people, says Tolson, don’t realize all the different resources libraries offer.
“They think of libraries as warehouses for books, but they’re so much more than that. I try to educate people really on the different services the libraries provide, helping small business owners, providing parents with the support they need to make sure kids are ready to start school and ready to learn how to read, and providing access to new technology, which is just a new way of learning.”
Tolson, of course, also loves literature, but the position presents “something different every day. It never gets boring. There are always new challenges, and you kind of have to adjust to the different changes in technology and to society.”
The new director was impressed with the direction in which Millis Public Library was headed.
“It’s a very supportive community, and everyone really appreciates what the library does,” she says. Tolson says a focus on staff development has allowed the library to expand its programming and services, and he is working to get to know the community and assess how best the library can continue provide for them. One area of focus she’s identified is a need for more targeted middle school programming. She’d also like to offer more in the way of technology classes for patrons to learn different programs, so she’s looking at how to support more technology training for staff. Currently the library has two full-time and four part-time employees.