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New Canaan Library Imports Executive Director From New Zealand

Lisa Oldham will become the executive director of the New Canaan Library on July 1.
Lisa Oldham will become the executive director of the New Canaan Library on July 1. Photo Credit: New Canaan Library

NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- Lisa Oldham came direct from New Zealand to New Canaan to become the new executive director at the library. 

Oldham, who takes over on July 1, is opening a new chapter for the New Canaan Public Library after it completed a long search for a new leader. 

"I am excited to be joining the team at New Canaan Library,” Oldham said in a statement. “I've been impressed with the wide range of programming, the warm and welcoming staff, and the exceptionally high usage of the library by the community."

With nearly 25 years of experience in library and educational support services in places such as Guatemala and Sri Lanka, Oldham offers a new perspective. 

“Library services are evolving rapidly and the world is getting smaller,” she said.  “It’s our job to ensure services are up to par with what the community needs and expects and it is my passion to stay one step ahead.”

Although she was raised and educated in the United States, Oldham has worked abroad in a variety of settings. She is interested in the development of libraries in the 21st century and how best to blend traditional services with new digital offerings.  

Oldham comes to New Canaan directly from the National Library of New Zealand, where her strategic planning and management skills were put to use advising the government and schools on the development of library services and buildings. 

Before that, she managed the library system for a regional district, where her work included planning for the complete renovation and renewal of the central district library, enabling growth and improved service delivery, as well overseeing the construction of one branch library and refurbishment of another, the statement said. 

Her expertise will be valuable to the library, which recently acquired an adjacent property, as it looks to expand. “This land gives the library more options as we move forward planning for a reconfigured new library campus,” Board of Trustees President Christine Yordan said in a statement.

Oldham replaces Alice Knapp, who left in January for a position as director of user services at the Ferguson Library in Stamford. Knapp served as executive director for four years. You can read about her tenure here

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