PVPL Says Goodbye To Perella

Jun 02, 2018 - 8:00 am

O'Sullivan Named New Director

Prior to her retirement as director of the Pequea Valley Public Library (PVPL) on June 1, Margie Perella made a statement that some might consider amusing. "I am looking forward to having more time to read (after I retire)," said Perella with a chuckle.

Perella began her career with the library in May 1975 when the Intercourse Lions Club founded the library in its original location, a former schoolhouse at the corner of Route 340 and Blueberry Boulevard in Intercourse. Originally, the facility was a reading center of the Lancaster Library, but use soon exceeded expectations. Perella served the facility on a part-time basis until 1984 when she took a full-time position elsewhere. In 2000, when the director's position became available as a full-time opportunity, Perella applied and was selected. In 2013, a replica of the schoolhouse was added to the current library at 31 Center St., Intercourse, and named the Perella Schoolhouse in her honor. Perella has served PVPL a total of 27 years.

On June 1, Perella will officially retire, and Catherine O'Sullivan, who has served as the Salisbury Township Branch Library manager, will become the new PVPL director. O'Sullivan, who is currently working on her master's degree in library science, moved to the area nine years ago from New York City. She holds a bachelor's degree in Chinese language from Michigan State University.

"(O'Sullivan) was a homeschool mom who used our library all the time," said Perella, who recalled that O'Sullivan approached library staff about the possibility of working at PVPL part time. "We hired her right away because we knew her," said Perella, who added that O'Sullivan spent much of her time at the Salisbury Township Branch Library. Perella noted that when the manager's job at that location opened up, O'Sullivan was quickly hired.

When Perella decided to retire, there was consensus that O'Sullivan would be a good replacement. "It wasn't just me (who wanted O'Sullivan to be director)," said Perella. "Several members of the staff also thought that Catherine would be perfect to be the library director, and she will be."

"I appreciated that Margie thought of me," said O'Sullivan. "It's very humbling to step in (to her shoes)." O'Sullivan noted that Perella is leaving a well-worn path for her to follow. "Margie has made it easier (for me) because she has so much in place," said O'Sullivan. "There's a great facility, incredible staff, and a nice collection she has built up."

Perella is comfortable that she is leaving the library in good hands with O'Sullivan and the other staff members, many of whom have been serving patrons for a number of years. Perella lauded the library personnel for their positive attitude and customer service outlook. "All the staff members are so supportive and wonderful with the public," she said.

On Saturday, June 2, the same day O'Sullivan will become director, the Summer Reading Program - themed "Libraries Rock!" - will kick off for the summer.

O'Sullivan was undaunted by the task ahead. "I am very excited (about the position)," she said. "I have always been a lover of libraries, and this is my dream." O'Sullivan noted, however, that she will be looking to Perella for help, if necessary. "I think Margie should just remember that she is on my speed dial," she said with a chuckle.

Jane Fisher, who has been a part-time library employee, has taken over the directorship of the Salisbury Township Branch Library.

More information about the library may be found by visiting https://pvpl.org.

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