Lewiston Public Library director leaving next month

Mar. 1—LEWISTON — Lewiston Public Library director Marcela Peres is stepping down next month.

Peres confirmed Wednesday that she gave her notice of resignation to the city last week. Her last day will be April 5.

"City of Lewiston staff and especially my colleagues at the library have been the highlight of my years here," Peres wrote in her letter of resignation, which she shared with the Sun Journal.

"I could not have asked for a more hardworking, enthusiastic and supportive team. I will always respect the work ethic and passion staff citywide bring to serving Lewiston."

The city hired Peres (pronounced "Paris") to serve as director in 2017 following a nationwide search to replace Rick Speer, who served as director for more than three decades. A search committee that included then-City Administrator Ed Barrett, members of the library board of trustees, the Friends of the Lewiston Public Library, and Betsy Pohl, director of the Lithgow Public Library in Augusta, selected her out of a pool of 25 candidates.

"Marcela has a firm grasp not only of our community here in Lewiston, but also of technology and the role of libraries in the 21st century," Speer said at the time.

Peres said in her letter that her decision to leave her post was not an easy one and was "only made after much discussion with my family about our needs at this current time."

She did not say what her plans are for after her departure.

"Books have never had a better friend," Mayor Carl Sheline said Wednesday. "Director Peres is a shining light in our city and she will be missed greatly. I appreciate her service to Lewiston and I wish her the best."

Peres has been on library staff since 2012 and previously served as the adult services librarian. Before that, she oversaw all library operations for Southwest Florida College in Tampa. She holds a Master of Science degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Arts from Cornell University.