Library director retires after 17 years
Martha Holden is putting her career on the shelf. After 17 years as Peabody’s library director, the longtime city employee is retiring. Her last day was March 3. Holden is succeeded by Acting Director and former Assistant Director Gerri Guyote.
Holden played a pivotal role in preserving the spirit of the Peabody libraries in addition to innovating services, according to those close to her. “She made our job very easy because she was so dependable,” said one of the library’s trustees, Jean Ahearn. “She was an advocate for the library and for progress. She brought the library forward by leaps and bounds.”
Ahearn said that Holden was particularly skilled at keeping up with trends in technology, which is evidenced in her helping to bring the “Creativity Lab” to the library. The Creativity Lab is a “community makerspace” that houses tools and provides programs to allow its visitors to achieve their creative dreams, whether in graphic design, woodworking or other areas of art and technology. The space, which is open often throughout the week, operates 3D printers and other devices, such as sound recorders and computer-programming software.
During her career Holden also helped guide the renovation of the Main Branch, and pioneered many education programs for both children and adults.
“Martha took the Peabody Institute Library to extraordinary heights.” said a post on the City of Peabody’s Facebook page. “We wish Martha great happiness in retirement and thank her for her commitment to improving the lives of so many Peabody residents.”
The trustees are in the process of looking for a more permanent director. The board will be collecting applications until April 7.
By Melanie Higgins
New doggie day care coming to Peabody
Peabody is going to the dogs. Last Thursday, March 9, the City Council approved a special permit, 10-0, to allow another dog kennel to operate within Peabody. The Council awarded the permit to Kerri Amor, a North Shore resident and current owner of Dog’n It, a kennel that currently operates in Middleton. According to the Peabody Area Chamber of Commerce, Amor’s business will be the fourth of its kind to operate within Peabody’s borders.
Amor still has some obstacles to overcome before her business can open, which include obtaining a clearance from the Department of Human Services; however, she expects the process to go swimmingly, citing her previous experience in Middleton. After renovations she hopes to have the business open by the beginning of April at the new location at 58 Walnut St.
Ward 3 Councillor James Moutsoulas initially expressed some concern that the dogs would create a mess in the neighboring park if let out to do their business; however, Amor reassured the councillor that the dogs would be limited to the open space provided on the premises.
Amor said that there is a “strict” process for bringing in new dogs. Dogs would have to be evaluated before being housed, must be neutered or spayed, and have all up-to-date immunizations. To ensure safety of the animals, there will be no more than seven dogs per employee on-site, for a total of just under 30 dogs. The kennel will provide overnight boarding, but will be significantly limited to just a few dogs.
Amor thanked the councillors and expressed her enthusiasm in relocating to Peabody, where she expects to have more business. She also said that she was glad to be returning to the Peabody area, having grown up in neighboring Danvers.
Amor said in a phone conversation that she has six years of experience in running a dog kennel through her Middleton business, but has a lifetime of experience working with dogs. She has been a trainer for 30 years, and has also spent much of her life breeding Miniature Schnauzers. “I’m very passionate about dogs,” Amor said. “I have an awesome job.”
She said that unlike some other kennels that house 100 or more dogs in dubious locations, such as malls and office parks, her business is all about small numbers in a tightly controlled environment to maximize their experience. “It’s all about keeping the dogs stress-free,” she said.
Her new facility, much like the old one, will have a large outdoor area, day care, overnights, grooming, training and concierge services. All employees are certified and two are trainers themselves. Also, every dog leaves with what Amor calls a “bye-bye bath.”
March 29 will be the last day of the Middleton operation and with it, the name “Dog’n It.” With its new location, the day care service will take on the new name, “Mutt Hut.”
By Melanie Higgins