Kurth Memorial Library names new director

Lorraine Simoneau photo courtesy of City of Lufkin.
Lorraine Simoneau photo courtesy of City of Lufkin.

LUFKIN, TX (PRESS RELEASE) - The new year will bring a Dallas-based librarian to head Lufkin's Kurth Memorial Library.

Deputy City Manager and Interim Library Director Keith Wright made the announcement Friday following a national search. "Lorraine Simoneau emerged as the person the City and the Board of Directors felt could move the Library forward into this new decade. Ms. Simoneau will continue to develop the collection, initiate programming and fine-tune operations at our Library." Wright adds that Simoneau has been the assistant director of a branch library in the Dallas Public Library System and was ready to step up to a director's job.

Mayor Jack Gorden praised the Library staff and Wright for their commitment to Library patrons and operations during the transition period that followed Sue Randelman's resignation earlier in the year.   The Mayor notes, "Keith provided excellent leadership and encouragement to the Library's dedicated staff. Together, working with the Board of Directors, they began some new initiatives, stepped up patron services and continued programming without missing a beat." Gorden, too, looks forward to seeing the skill-set, experience and energy Simoneau brings to the position.

Simoneau, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania grew up "in the stacks".  She recalls her first job as a page at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. The high school junior spent her days shelving books. "Libraries are amazing places. I knew at a young age that I would become a librarian. I totally understand that the resources libraries offer can be life changing – the books, technology, information and entertainment housed in one place can open people's eyes to possibilities they never knew existed. I am thrilled to be coming to this incredible Library in a town that I have grown to love."  Simoneau's brother and his family live in Lufkin. She and her two young children will relocate to the area in February.

The City of Lufkin and the Library's Board of Directors work in concert to manage and maintain the Library and its collection. Wright commended the Board's active participation  in the interview process and support of the decision to hire  Simoneau.  Board Chairman Walter Borgfeld adds, "We eagerly anticipate Ms. Simoneau's arrival and look forward to making the Library and its collection the best it can be for current and future patrons."

The Library Board is responsible for the Library's collection. One way it raises money is through its annual Gala. The 5th edition is set for Saturday, January 23rd. Proceeds from the Whimsical Walk Through Wonderland will benefit the Children's Collection at the Library.  Tickets are available by contacting Library Board member Lynn Torres at 936.630.4257.