New Director

The Board of Trustees of Bancroft Public Library is pleased to announce that Lori
Stokem has been selected to be the new Director of the Bancroft Public Library.
Lori brings to the position a keen appreciation of how this Library has evolved to
become a hub of the community.

Well known as a beloved teacher for 20 years at Salem Central School, Lori’s
interest in reading helped her hone the uncanny skill of being able to pair the right
novel with each student, even the most reluctant readers. Her particular interest
in supporting literacy in our community has been on full view as co-founder of
Books In Kids’ Hands, a non-profit literacy program that seeks to nurture a love for
books among Salem’s children.

Lori brings with her a long history of involvement with Bancroft Library. As a
student in Salem she relished how she and her classmates could walk from school
to Bancroft to check out books. While they weren’t allowed to browse the stacks,
the librarian would ride her motorized chair to the second floor and bring books
down to the students. Lori was here in Salem when the heartbreaking, great fire
engulfed the upper floors of the Bancroft Building.

After going to school and living in Boston, Lori returned to Washington County,
earning her B.A., then her M.A., in Education at Norwich University, then Vermont
College, respectively. During this time, Lori not only frequented the Library as a
mother with her children, but also as a teacher, creating summer reading lists,
thus strengthening the bonds between Bancroft Library and Salem Central School.
With the expansion of her family, Lori has enjoyed the great pleasure of being a
grandma in the children’s nook.

Keeping Bancroft Library a vibrant center of the community during these
uncertain times is a challenge Lori recognizes. Not unlike her schoolgirl days, at
the moment patrons are not able to browse the stacks. Instead, Bancroft offers
curbside pick-up of its own collection as well as the collections in the vast
Southern Adirondack Library System. The reopening of the Library, begun before
her arrival, is now Lori’s to ably shepherd, and we know she will do just that. Her
goals include encouraging strong partnership ties to Salem CSD, reviving the clubs
and activities the Library has hosted, and developing educational opportunities,
while attending to the Library’s ever-evolving collection.

The Library’s regular patrons know that former Directors Peg Culver and Susan
Getty have gone above and beyond in the stewardship of Salem’s public library.
Knowing the excitement, the history, and the love of this institution that Lori
Stokem brings with her as the new Library Director, we can be confident that
Bancroft Library remains in the best of hands.

The Library is located at 181 South Main Street. For updated information on
Library hours and offerings please visit, email or call (518) 854-7463.

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