Local library director leaving for opportunity to study in Finland

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bloomfield-Eastern Greene County Public Library Director John Helling will be leaving his position in August.

As of August, Helling will have worked at the library since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in English and a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University.

Prior to being employed at Bloomfield-Eastern Greene County Public Library, he worked at the New York Public Library.

He has recently been given an opportunity that he could not pass up.

Helling has received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the National Public Library Policy in Finland, in accordance with a Mid-Career Professional Development Grant.

"The purpose of the grant program is to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of Finland and the United States by means of educational and cultural exchange, and to promote international cooperation for educational and cultural advancement," the grant qualifications outline.

He will spend five months studying for the fall semester, and does not intend to return to the Bloomfield area.

According to Fulbright Center News, Helling is one of 35 American scholarship recipients who will be sent to Finland to study, teach or conduct research. His project is titled "Finnish National Library Policy as Model for Best Practices in the United States." He will be at the Helsinki City Library.

"It is something that they do every year. I applied for it, and got accepted," Helling explained.

"I enjoyed my time in Bloomfield, and I am sad to go, but it is an excellent opportunity."

Stori Snyder will host the interim position for six months after Helling leaves the library, and following that time the library will begin interviewing to fill the full-time position.

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