In the more than 30 years since she started working in the Children’s Department, Jean Tsang said she remembers many things about the , but one thing stands out.
"I met my husband in the building," she says, the library director since 2005.
That goes back to the flood in June 1982 that inundated the library, city hall and other buildings in and around Milford Center, caused by a horrific rainstorm.
The damage in the library was especially bad in the Children’s Department, which lost every book on the lower three shelves. Naturally, in the Children’s Department, you don’t put the best books on the top shelves.
Months later, Tsang and other library employees were still busy repairing the damage. She said she wanted to add a fish tank to spruce up the Children’s Department, so she asked Bill Tsang, who owned a local pet store, for help. They got married a year later, and she became a permanent Milford resident; although she had spent many summers here living near the beach since she was a child.
Tsang, who has served as the library director since 2005, is originally from New Haven. She got her master’s degree in library science at Southern Connecticut State University and worked for four years at the New Haven Public Library, before taking the children’s librarian job in Milford.
Her husband is now retired and spends some of his time house sitting their pets. "He does a wonderful job of dog sitting," Tsang says.
Renovation and Innovation
Over the years, public libraries have changed a lot because of the new technology that is available. But Tsang said what she’s most proud of is the completion of major renovations that started in 2004.
Those renovations added new windows, new lighting and new artwork on the walls. The Friends of the Milford Library raised the money for the art.
She says improvements and technology upgrades are continuing. Recently, the Republican Women’s Club of Milford donated money to buy four more computers for public Internet access at the Library.
'It takes a village'
Besides her work for the Milford Library, Tsang is also a eucharistic minister at and a member of the United Way of Milford Board of Directors. She has also been the PTA president.
"I love Milford," Tsang says. She is especially pleased with the many people in Milford who donate their time and resources to make it a better place to live.
"What I should say is, it takes a village," Tsang says. "After all these years, I’ve met so many interesting, kind and generous people."
That has greatly helped the library, too. "Because," she says, "they see the library as an important part of their community."