LETTER: Watertown Man Announces Candidacy for Library Trustee


Sheppard Ferguson, former President of Booksellers of Harvard Square, is on the ballot to be elected a Trustee of the Watertown Free Public Library. He believes his career creating and managing successful bookselling companies and as a free lance photographer working internationally will add strength and breadth of experience to the Board as it advises and assists the ongoing work of the library and its Director.

An avid user of the library (1,676 check-outs in five years), Ferguson joined the Long Range Planning Committee of the library last winter. Since he has spent many hours studying the Library and Town’s planning and budget documents and talked with dozens of people about the library.

Not surprisingly Ferguson confirmed that the Library is well loved by its users from Watertown and many surrounding communities, and is supported by the Town Council and Administration. Indeed the Library has put into effect most “best practices” for up-to-date public libraries and is often a leader in the field, demonstrated by its multicultural literacy project, The Hatch, the Hoopla streaming service, and being open seven days a week. Quite remarkable in a town of 35,000 people during a period of turbulent transition for all libraries across the United States as they become gateways into an increasingly networked, electronic age.

If the Library is currently “strong,” why does Ferguson want to spend his time and his experience as a Trustee? A few reasons: 1. Librarians change lives. 2. Watertown’s library is the town’s most democratic place, where people of all ages and origins congregate. 3. Libraries frequently face the unexpected and are required to provide increasingly complex services. 4. Development is changing every part of Watertown and the library will need to respond. 5. The Library currently operates at full capacity, perhaps requiring new resources. 6. In his experience, an active Board is a powerful asset in a time of change. 7. A Library user, he loves the library.

Sheppard Ferguson: Selected Professional Background Founder, The Photographic Eye bookstore /gallery, Cambridge; Founder, Ars Libri, Ltd, Boston, international book supplier to major art institutions worldwide; President of Schoenhof’s Foreign Books, Cambridge, the leading international book distributor in the U.S.; Freelance photographer in Washington, D.C., France and Vietnam; Exhibits in Boston, New York, Avignon and Hanoi; Founding Board & President, Revels, Inc. (Christmas Revels); Revels D.C., Board; French Library, Boston, Board. President, Booksellers of Harvard Square. Recipient of the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Government.

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