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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

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