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Meet Milford Library's Director Jean Tsang

Tsang has helped transform the library into a community center and it happens to be where she met her husband.

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."

Leila Chaucer January 26, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Our library is one of the best in the state because of the leadership of Jeanne Tsang. She cares about making it a citizen friendly library offering interesting programs, purchasing equipment so that people of all ages can do research and leading a competent staff and volunteers to help readers and students of all ages. She is progressive and always thinking of ways to help our library be the best resource it can be to our community. We have been blessed by having had jeanne in this position all these years!
James Givens (Shaw) January 26, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I agree with Ms. Chaucer; Milford is well served by their library and by Ms. Tsang. Nice profile.
RONALD M GOLDWYN January 26, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Lions Clubs International and the local lions clubs of Milford and Orange have been the backbone of each Library's collection of "Large Print" editions of books and magazines for those whose sight has required enlargement. Toward this end the Milford Lions Club has donated to the Milford Library and the Milford Senior Center expensive electronic machines that enlarge any item placed below its lens into large images on its TV monitor. These machines allow the handicapped to read the fine print of contracts or newspapers in a visable size. About 80 years ago the Lions Clubs made a deal with Ms Helen Keller to be her "Knights of the Blind" so that charity to help the blind and near blind have been the number one endeavor of Lionism. Donate to us your used eyeglasses, hearing aids, and cell phones, so that others may see clearly, hear better or call 911. We Lions enjoy our relationship with Ms Tsang and the work she does for the visually handicapped.
Priscilla Lynn January 26, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I've had the pleasure to interacting with Ms. Tsang when coordinating use of the Community Room. It's great to read this well-written article showcasing her special talents and positive impact in her role at the Milford Library. Hmmmm, I'm single, maybe I should hang out at the Library more often????
carol van pala January 26, 2012 at 02:07 PM
The Milford Library is a wonderful resource in our community and Jean Tsang does a wonderful job of keeping it that way. I love to visit the Library and check out the many books there. I also like the "show and tell area". This month, there is a wonderful Christmas pin display. The Library plays many importatnt roles in the community, not just for books and magazines, but so many other venues. Check it out and if you can help it out, whether donating books, or monetarily, it is a worthwhile cause.
Kathy Patterson January 26, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Ms. Tsang is a remarkable woman to those she serves in Milford. Milford is lucky to have such a knowledgable person running our public library. It is a pleasure dealing with her on any level.
Linda Creedon January 26, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I am proud to serve as a Board Member for the Library for many years. The transformation under Jean's tutelage has been remarkable and I hope all of Milford realizes that the Library is a destination for Milford citizens and we will continue to grow to meet the needs of our residents. Linda M. Creedon, owner Pegasus Interiors
CuriousOrange January 26, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I love the Milford library and its librarians.
Michael Brown January 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Go to the Friends of Milford Library Wish List and donate a Book. http://www.foml-ct.org/id46.html
Ardienne Damicis January 31, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Jean Tsang has made the Milford Library a wonderful place to find interesting books, do genealogy, attend interesting programs, and do research. She is also a Friend of the Milford Historical Society involving it in placing pictures of Milford History on the CT Library website. Ardienne Damicis
Paul Hromjak March 06, 2013 at 02:03 AM
I met Jean Tsang when I did a photography exhibit at the Library. Jean has done a lot to promote the arts and to showcase the work of Milford photographers and artists. I know her leadership there is greatly appreciated. She is a very positive force for the Library and a great person.

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