A new chapter for Dartmouth libraries

Jun 6, 2023

Dartmouth Public Libraries has a new director, Dina St. Pierre. She hopes to build upon the already strong foundation of the libraries in town and take a page from previous directors' success, she says.

The New Bedford native has used the Southworth library since her childhood. Previously she had applied for jobs from the computers at that library, so when she saw the position to be director she “had to throw [her] hat in the ring because it’s Dartmouth.”

She is taking over for Lynne Antunes who worked in Dartmouth Public Libraries for over 30 years and was Library Director for 11 years before retiring in early 2023.

Previously St. Pierre worked at New York Public Library, Whitman and other libraries in Massachusetts and most recently in Acushnet. Dartmouth is a much larger library than Acushnet, she says.

“Everything in Dartmouth is three to four times the size of Acushnet,” she said.

Since her start date on May 15 she has tried to meet with the entire staff of both North and Southworth library, the board of trustees and The Friends of the Dartmouth Libraries. Through this, she said, she has found that Dartmouth has a wonderful staff in its libraries.

“I’m very excited to have inherited such a great, competent staff, who are respectful of each other and welcoming and respectful of me as well,” she said.

In an effort to make the libraries even better for the community St. Pierre started to meet with residents as well. On June 5 at the North Branch the public was invited to meet her and express their desires and concerns about the libraries.

“I’ve heard people are looking for more programs, any kind of programs we can bring, they're open to,” St. Pierre said, adding that people have put extra emphasis on adult education opportunities.

St. Pierre is grateful to start her position now when the library’s strategic plan expires at the end of June. This gives her two years to craft a new plan for the libraries to foster success in the community.

“The next strategic plan will involve a lot of community surveys and focus groups, trying to get a sense from the community about what they want from the library,” said St. Pierre. “The timing of that, I’m really pleased about because it feels like we have a blank slate to create something we all want.”

St. Pierre is excited to work in Dartmouth specifically, “I wanted to be a part of what's already happening here…I would love to be here for the long term and see it through.” She joked that she has a couple of decades to give to the libraries.

St. Pierre will be at the Southworth Library on June 9 from 10 a.m. to noon to meet more library users.