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Westmoreland

Greensburg Hempfield Area Library hires new director

Jacob Tierney
| Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, 11:36 a.m.
Jamie Falo, Greensburg Hempfield Area Library’s new director.
Jamie Falo, Greensburg Hempfield Area Library’s new director.

Greensburg Hempfield Area Library has chosen its next director, and board members say they’re hopeful she will last longer than the last one.

Jamie Falo has been director at the Murrysville Community Library since 2011. She’ll take over in Greensburg in early November. She will replace Casey Sirochman, who the library board let go in May for undisclosed reasons after seven months on the job.

“The board 100 percent just wants stability for this library,” said board member Mallory Reese, who led the search committee. “I think this is definitely a long term play for the board.”

Falo said she’s excited to get started.

“I’m hoping to explore new, innovative ideas, and maybe initiate opportunities for new programming,” she said.

Falo started in the library business in 2000 as an aide at Mt. Pleasant library.

She became director there two years later, then in 2011 did a short stint as a circulation clerk for Westmoreland County Community College before becoming Murrysville’s director.

When Greensburg Hempfield Area Library started its search, she saw it as an opportunity to advance her career at a bigger library, she said.

Greensburg Hempfield had 17,206 cardholders in 2015, the most recent year for which countywide data is available. That’s about double the size of Murrysville.

Reese said board members were impressed by Falo’s 18 years of library experience and her fundraising savvy.

“She’s a very experienced fundraiser,” Reese said. “She appreciates the value of every donor, but she also understands the importance of looking kind of from 10,000 feet up at what the library needs to move forward.”

The library’s financial future has been tenuous for years. It sought new revenue in a tax referendum last year, but that failed in four of six municipalities.

Falo was chosen from among 8 candidates.

“The whole search committee at the end of her interview was just completely sold,” Reese said.

Falo said she plans to meet with board members soon so she can hit the ground running.

The ongoing challenge at Greensburg Hempfield, and all libraries, is convincing skeptics that the library still has value.

“We have to just try to keep relevance,” she said. “You hear people say ‘the library is a dinosaur.’ We’re much, much, much more.”

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, jtierney@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.

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