By Pam Pollan
Pollan: When did you begin working as library director in Princeton?
Korstvedt: My first day was January 10, and everyone has been extremely welcoming-the public, the
staff, trustees, friends, and other town employees.
Pollan: What kind of work experiences did you have before coming to Princeton?
Korstvedt: I first worked in some specialized academic libraries, but happily transitioned to public libraries when we were living in Minnesota. I worked for a large county library system there, and then worked in the archives at Clark (University) when we first moved back to Massachusetts. I was then Director of the Petersham Memorial Library and have worked at the Gale Free Library in Holden as well as the Worcester Public Library where I worked for the past 10 years.
Pollan: What attracted you to the Princeton job?
Korstvedt: The position of Director of the Princeton Public Library appealed to me for a number of
reasons. I wanted to once again work directly with the public, working directly with library collections,
and have a closer connection to the community I served. I also felt that my wide and varied experience
could bring a lot to the library and the town. The search committee and library staff were all very
friendly and welcoming throughout the interview process, and were clearly all dedicated to the
mission of the Princeton Public Library. That increased my interest in the position and confirmed for
me that it was a position worth pursuing. The lovely building, including the clock tower was an
Pollan: What kind of changes do you hope to make?
Korstvedt: I think it is important to take time to learn and evaluate the space and services before
making very many changes. At this time I plan to expand the large print collection and follow up on
existing plans to expand the “library of things.” The staff here has some great ideas.
The public library is a great resource for everyone-books, movies, fine-free borrowing, e-books,
databases, wi-fi, quiet study space, helpful staff, and a variety of programs for all ages. Everyone is
Pollan: Where did you grow up and go to school?
Korstvedt: I grew up in suburban Boston, and lived in Worcester through my 20’s. I graduated from
Worcester State (College) University with a degree in English, and later earned a Master of Library
and Information Science from Drexel University in Philadelphia.
Pollan: What do you like to do for fun when you aren’t in the library?
Korstvedt: Aside from the obvious answer of “Read!”, I enjoy walking the many trails in the
Wachusett region, baking, and traveling.
Pollan: When did you decide you wanted to become a librarian?
Korstvedt: When I was in my late twenties, working in specialty food retail, I realized I wanted to do
something different with my life. I was initially an Education major as an undergraduate before
switching to English. Those fields, combined with my retail experience and personal interests lead me
to the career of librarianship.
Pollan: When did you develop a love of books and do you have advice for young parents who want
to instill a love of reading in their children?
Korstvedt: I have always been a reader, my parents are lifelong readers, and my father in particular
frequently brought me to the library and suggested books to me while never saying I couldn’t read
something. Parents who read to their young children, model reading habits, and offer them
opportunities to freely explore the world of books and language are likely to raise readers.
Pollan: What kind of books do you enjoy most?
Korstvedt: I lean towards character-focused books with humor. Any era or place suits me-it can be
another way to travel.
Pollan: What are some exciting events coming up this year at the Princeton Library?
Korstvedt: We have program year-round, including Summer Reading for children and teens. In
March, we have story times for young children, book groups for various ages and interests, a cupcake
decorating workshop for adults, a presentation from NEADS, and an Irish-themed poetry reading. Call
or visit the library or our website at www.princetonpubliclibrary.org for more information on these and
other upcoming programs.
Pollan: What kind of things are available for checkout?
Korstvedt: Currently we have a telescope donated by the Aldrich Astronomical Society, museum and
destination passes offered by the Friends of the Princeton Public Library, wi-fi hotspots, and STEM
and Family Fun kits geared towards younger children. We intend to expand on these offerings in the
course of the year.
Pollan: How is the Princeton Library unique from other libraries?
Korstvedt: The stained glass windows, clock tower and view stand out as different from other libraries.
Pollan: What do you enjoy most about the library?
Korstvedt: While I love the aesthetics of the building, it is really the friendliness of the staff and
patrons as well as the level of community engagement I have seen in town that particularly appeal to
me. Of course, I also enjoy being surrounded by books and readers!
By Pam Pollan