Meet Adam Traub, the Webster Public Library’s new director

7 Dec

As the Webster Public Library welcomes the new year, it will also welcome a brand new director.

On January 3, Adam Traub will officially take over as director for Terri Bennett, who’s retiring after more than 40 years of service.

Traub is currently Associate Director of the Monroe County Library System (MCLS), where he manages the operations of the county’s 20-member library system. Before joining the MCLS, he worked for several years in academia, managing digital and technology services at the University of Rochester and RIT libraries.

A graduate of Nazareth College, Traub didn’t originally plan to pursue a career in the library sciences.

“I was initially going to teach English at the collegiate or high school level,” he said. But then when a snafu at the college postponed his student teaching placements, he saw it as an opportunity to explore a different direction.

“I’d been working in the library (work study) for the past three years, and I really liked it,” he said. “So I decided to get my master’s in library science. I’ll get that, and when I’m done, I’ll see what jobs are available.”

Plus, he added, “I didn’t have to grade, which was very attractive.”

He headed to the University of Buffalo for his MLS and never looked back.

“I have no regrets,” he said. “I’ve found a way to make a living giving things away. … It’s amazing.” 

In accepting the position at the Webster Public Library, Traub is basically coming home. He grew up in Webster, graduated from Webster High School in 1999, and still has family here in town. He and his wife Rachel recently moved to Williamson from the South Wedge and are expecting their first child in March.

Traub hasn’t met all of the staff members yet, but is pretty impressed by what he’s seen so far. He said,

The thing that comes through the first time you walk in this building is the creativity of the staff. When I started my current position (with the MCLS) I visited every single public library location in Monroe County. Staff across the county are amazing. But the creativity here…

When I started, when I came to Webster, they were just putting up their hallway decorations. And right there, there was a giant tree made of paper, it went all the way up. … That’s like a professional level exhibit type thing and I was just floored. …When you go to library school, you don’t get taught any of that. That’s someone’s interest and skill and passion coming out. 

I see really cool things happening with tech, I see really creative use of space which is a whole other skill set. Obviously they’re doing something right. They’re one of the busiest suburban libraries in the county, and not the biggest by population.

I think in some ways, Webster’s swinging above its weight class. 

Fans of the library have nothing to fear; Traub isn’t planning to make a whole lot of sweeping changes right away. His first priority is to get the lay of the land.

I would feel awfully arrogant if I said I had big plans for the library to change. There will be change but right now I think it’s figuring out, what do the staff and the patrons love? What should keep going? Because I find that those cultural touchstones are the most important things for us to keep. 

So my first little bit is getting to know what needs to stay before we start thinking about what needs to change. I think having a healthy amount of humility is important to know what’s important to people and make sure what needs to stay stays, and then figure out what’s not working. 

To that end, Adam hopes to set up a public meet-and-greet before the end of the year. “Terri’s done such an amazing job here, I’m sure people want to know the library’s in good hands.”

Stay tuned for more information about that.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of Webster Plaza.

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One Response to “Meet Adam Traub, the Webster Public Library’s new director”

  1. Kathy Taddeo December 7, 2021 at 5:51 am #

    Terrific and timely interview, Missy. Thank you.
    Sent from my iPhone

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