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Friends of Library plan farewell for Helling

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bloomfield-Eastern Greene County Public Library will be hosting a farewell open house, organized by the Friends of the Library, for director John Helling Friday from 5-6:30 p.m.

In order to say good-bye, the public is welcome to come to the Community Room of the library and enjoy snacks and refreshments when wishing the director well.

"He has been with us four years, and has accepted a fellowship in Finland," Friends of the Library President Jane Leuking explained.

Leuking has been active with the Friends of the Library during Helling's stint as director, and said he has been easy to work with.

"He has been very helpful and friendly and we hate to see him go, but we wish him the best. He has done a lot for the library," Leuking said.

Leuking said she is especially pleased with the new programs he brought into the library, including becoming active in the Evergreen Indiana program. The program is an open source integrated library system.

Helling has a bachelor's degree in English and a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University. Before coming to Bloomfield he worked for the New York Public Library in the Aguilar Branch.

A Fullbright Scholarship to study National Public Library Policy in Finland is drawing Helling away from the library, he explained in a recent interview.

He is one of 35 Americans to receive the scholarship, and 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.

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

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