Massillon library names new director
Ms. Brown currently serves as Head of the Reference Department, a position she has held since 1986. During her tenure in this position, some of her most outstanding accomplishments have been the microfilming of the Rotch Wales Papers, the library’s collection of over 2500 pieces of original business and personal correspondence by Thomas and Charity Rotch and Arvine Wales, three giant figures in Massillon’s history. She was successful in obtaining a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to digitize the Rotch papers. She supervised the transfer of the library’s card catalog into electronic format when automated circulation replaced the old manual Gaylord system. In 1996, when the digital revolution began to have impact on Massillon Public Library’s reference service, she not only introduced staff to email and online searching but also obtained a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to bring in internet connectivity and the first public PCs, and was twice successful in obtaining grants for computer labs and classes to train the public. She assisted in the grant proposals that brought the library its familiar blue bookmobile.
Her present duties encompass not only management of the Reference Department but also supervision of the Computer Center, which opened in 2008, following passage of the library’s first operating levy in 2006. One of her many strengths is spotting trends in the world of libraries and electronic information, and she will keep MPL abreast of the latest changes.
Ms. Brown began her career at Massillon Public Library after graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1979 with a major in English and minor in psychology. Because of her musical talents she was assigned the selection and cataloging of the library’s audiovisual collection which then consisted only of long-playing vinyl recordings.
She is the consummate Reference Librarian and has trained her staff to be conscientious and thorough in tracking down answers and following through with patron requests.
For 31 years she has been married to Gary Brown who works in the construction business. They are the proud parents of Peter, an interactive designer living in Baltimore, Maryland; and Jeffrey, a 2010 OSU graduate looking to land a job in the editorial field. Mr. and Mrs. Brown own rental property in Massillon and reside in Jackson Township. Her orange and black connections, however, are solid since she plays the calliope for the Massillon Tiger Booster Club each sports season.
She sings with Voices of Canton, Inc., (VOCI) and plays the piano for VOCI’s ensemble. An avid reader, she has led a book discussion outside work hours for many years.
The library could not be in better hands than these,” commented Camille Leslie, current library Director. “Sherie is an outstanding individual and a splendid leader with deep commitment to our library and community.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Information from Massillon Public Library)