BAR HARBOR — The Jesup Memorial Library board of directors welcomed two new members Wednesday, Ron Beard and Tom Crikelair, both of Bar Harbor.
They are joining the Jesup leadership as the historic library plans for the first expansion in its 104-year history. Beard also was elected president of the board.
“I’ve held a library card from the Jesup for most of my life. I’ve borrowed thousands of books, I’ve attended countless talks and programs as the library stepped up its role as a hub for public dialogue and learning,” he said. “I look forward to working with the board and staff to build on the legacy of the past century, to realize a future Jesup that excels in its role to elevate and animate our community.”
He will be taking over from longtime president Judith Swazey, who is retiring from the board after spearheading plans for the expansion. A reception to officially welcome Beard and honor Swazey and her contributions is set for Sunday, June 26.
“It’s been a very special opportunity to be of service to Jesup through working with present and former board members, participating in the increasingly vital role that our beloved library plays in our community,” said Swazey. “I look forward to following the next chapter in Jesup’s development, with Ron Beard at the helm of our dedicated board.”
Swazey joined the board in 2008 and became its president in 2009. During her tenure, the Jesup expanded both its staffing and its programming. Under her leadership, the Jesup purchased the adjoining property in 2012 and began planning for the library’s future.
Crikelair and Beard, who were elected to three-year terms, will help continue her work.
Crikelair lives on the Crooked Road with his daughters, Lily and Eva. He works as a consultant, designing public transit systems for communities, national parks, ski resorts and college campuses. He was a member of Bar Harbor’s Town Council for three terms during the 1990s, after serving for many years as chairman of the town’s Warrant Committee.
Beard is an adjunct faculty member at College of the Atlantic and an emeritus professor of the University of Maine. He was based in Hancock County for more than 30 years. His work with the Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant focused on community development education. His public service has included the College of the Atlantic board of trustees, Bar Harbor Town Council, Mount Desert Island Hospital board of trustees, Bar Harbor Planning Board and the Mount Desert Island YMCA.
He lives with his wife, Sandi Read, who operates Wild Iris Farm, and he hosts “Talk of the Towns,” a regular monthly public affairs program broadcast on WERU Community Radio, which he began in 1993.