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Library director to retire in Jan.

Date: 1/10/2011

Jan. 10, 2011

By Chris Maza

Reminder Assistant Editor

LONGMEADOW — Storrs Library Director Carl Sturgis admitted that while his retirement is quickly approaching, he's not quite sure what he's going to do with it.

"Life gets very busy very quickly," Sturgis said. "People have asked me what I'm going to do and I said, 'I haven't had time to think about it.'"

Sturgis is leaving his post at the Storrs Library after 25 years of service and said while he hasn't had time to make any concrete plans, he has an idea or two about how to enjoy his retirement.

"There are a lot of opportunities to volunteer here in town," Sturgis said. "I enjoy kayaking and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I have some personal projects and some painting projects to work on. And the 'refrigerator list' keeps growing, thanks to my wife."

Since the very first day on the job, Sturgis took notice of what an integral part of the community the library is.

"I always thought when I got here that the location of the library in the historic district in the heart of Longmeadow shows that it was always considered an important place in the community," Sturgis said. "This is a central part of the community and it's very well supported."

Taking time to look back at his tenure as the library's director, Sturgis pointed to two things in particular he was especially proud to have been a part of.

"Certainly the expansion of the library in the early 90s," Sturgis said. "The physical expansion of the building was necessary. We added about 10,000 square feet to the building and we also renovated the 1932 building."

The second was the implementation of new technology and the library's ability to stay current with that technology in a way that was helpful to the library's patrons.

At the same time, he said, the library was able to keep that "traditional" aspect to libraries. He admitted that the job was a bit of a balancing act between the two.

"A lot of people like coming here for the traditional side of things," Sturgis said. "So you want to be on the learning curve, but not so far that you can't help the people who come in."

As the library has expanded, so has its demand. Currently, the circulation stands at about 200,000 and the variety of needs patrons have, has made Sturgis' job taxing, yet rewarding at the same time.

"There are a lot of people with a variety of interests and that makes coming to work a challenge and exciting," Sturgis said.

Sturgis also said he was impressed with the amount of support the library received from the town when it was time to raise funds.

"The Friends of the Library have a very entrepreneurial spirit," Sturgis said.

A retirement party for Sturgis will take place on Jan. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend to enjoy refreshments, socialize and wish him well.

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