|The Virginia Hatch Room of Russell Library was recently repainted.|
Geen Thazhampallath, President of the Library Board of Trustees said, “Matt has been a passionate and tireless advocate for the Russell Library and for urban public libraries in general. He was exactly what we needed---a visionary who had the energy to help us modernize our offerings and service delivery with an eye toward what patrons really need in the community. The entire Board recognizes that he empowered the staff to strive for service excellence and in every instance, delivered exactly what he said he’d get done. We are grateful for his inspired leadership and for the change he led during his time at Russell.”
Thazhampallath also added that, “Matt is the consummate library leader -- focused on helping others find the answers they seek, expanding early childhood literacy services and teen programming, and navigating the complexities of a strategic plan. He has made an extraordinary contribution not only to the library but to the entire Greater Middletown community. We will all miss him.”
In announcing his retirement, Poland remarked, “I am incredibly lucky to have found a career in public libraries that sustained and challenged me for so many years. I’ve met fascinating and wonderful people during my time at Russell Library, and I have been privileged to work with and learn from a dedicated and talented staff and Board. The Library’s collection and programs are among the most remarkable in Connecticut. But they are but one facet of my experience here. It’s the talented and devoted staff who bring them to life through their hard work day in and day out. I consider myself among the fortunate few to have had such an extraordinary position at a wonderful place with such exceptional people.”
“I will miss my colleagues in Middletown, but I am excited about embarking on a new personal adventure. I am also very happy that the Russell Library has a full complement of engaged, forward-thinking trustees and the support of the Mayor and City Council who will make sure that the Library is a strong community anchor for many years to come,” said Poland.
Thazhampallath said that he may call the Board, which is in recess until September, into session for a meeting in August to begin developing its transition and leadership plan. “We’ll take it step by step. I view this as a loss but Matt is leaving us in very good shape with time to plan our next steps.”