Newburgh Free Library Has a New Director

NEWBURGH – The Newburgh Free Library welcomes Mary Lou Carolan as their new Director. Mary Lou has been the Assistant Library Director at the Newburgh Free Library since 2018, initiating many outreach driven efforts placing the library front and center on issues of community development, arts and cultural planning, civic engagement and multicultural education and programming.

Carolan believes the evolving needs and desires of the community must drive library decisions for selecting relevant programs, services and collections.She secured the temporary acquisition of the award-winning Wesley Wofford sculpture of Harriet Tubman to grace the library plaza last fall. This project consisted of developing and working with a dynamic committee of community members to create a years’ worth of programs and community conversations inspired by Harriet’s legacy of courage, freedom and truth.

A native New Yorker, Mary Lou Carolan was raised on Long Island and spent the first stage of her career managing non-profit community based organizations around the country. Her return to New York in 2001, led her to first volunteer for and then rise through the ranks to become the director of the Wallkill Public Library. It was then she decided to pursue her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science to begin her second stage. “This is where the blending of my life began – a career built upon service to the community now focused on creating libraries that are vibrant and dynamic community learning centers.”

After 11 years at the Wallkill Public Library, Carolan became Director of the Cornwall Public Library, overseeing a number of significant building redesign programs. In 2018, the opportunity to work for the Newburgh Free Library was irresistible. “Newburgh is very much like the culturally diverse town of Freeport that I grew up in. I feel at home here. Newburgh has my heart and I am committed to help grow the library in new and innovative ways, embracing emerging technology, acknowledging the need for strong digital literacy, equity and access, and continuing the dedication of libraries to provide materials, information and opportunities for all.” Mary Lou Carolan can be reached directly at 845.563.3604 or at

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