Worcester Library Director Retires

BERLIN – Worcester County Library leader Mark Thomas retired last week.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Thomas, who has served as executive director of the library since 2004, will be replaced by Jennifer Ranck, the library’s deputy director. She will serve as acting director until the Worcester County Library Board of Trustees makes a decision on a permanent replacement later this year.

Thomas, 66, said he’d enjoyed working with his devoted staff throughout the county’s libraries but was looking forward to retirement.

“It is time for new leadership for the library system,” he said.

During the past decade, the Worcester County Library has expanded both its buildings and programs. When asked about key events that occurred during his time as director, Thomas referenced the expansion of library programs as well as the library’s new Ocean City branch. He said the library had also started aggressively pursuing grants during his time there and had received substantial ones from The Big Read, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore and the Humphreys Foundation.

“On the downside, the recession and resulting budget constraints beginning in 2009 slowed and then reversed the momentum the library had

Jennifer Ranck

Jennifer Ranck

built and delayed further expansion,” Thomas said.

Nevertheless, design work is currently underway for a new 11,000-square-foot Berlin branch, which will be built on a six-acre lot on Harrison Avenue.

Thomas, whose last day was June 19, enjoyed working with committed employees and a supportive board of trustees for the past 11 years. He says he also appreciates the knowledge that each of the library’s five branches is making a “significant positive contribution to the lives of thousands of Worcester County residents.”

Ranck, who has served as the library’s deputy director since August 2013, will give up her role as manager of the Ocean City branch as she replaces Thomas. She has years of experience in libraries as she directed the Somerset County Library System from 2009 to 2013 and before that was the training coordinator for the Eastern Shore Regional Library. Ranck received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Elmira College and a Master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh.