Snapshot: Douglas Lord
Occupation: I am the director of the Cyrenius H. Booth Library on Main Street. Stop by!
Family: I’m married to Kristin Champagne and I have three children: Rachel (25), Jackson (21), and Chase (13).
Pets: We have a sweet cat named Karma and a Boston Terrier named Keagan. There are also several plants and occasional bugs that wander in and out, but I don’t think those count.
How long have you worked in Newtown? Four wonderful years. I started in February of 2018.
What do you like to do in your free time? I train for and do triathlons and running events. I like mountain biking and trail running, and I work around the house.
What is your favorite book? Hard question for a librarian! It is generally whatever I read last. I do find myself going back to Thoreau’s Walden, Annie Dillard’s Teaching a Stone to Talk, Vonnegut, and Updike’s Rabbit Angstrom novels. I enjoy reading anything well-written no matter if it is online or in a magazine. I really loved Making Nice by Matt Sumell and also The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich. For a librarian I hardly read anything that isn’t professional literature (like, Ideas to Inspire Smart Spaces in Creative Places) — though I am completely, helplessly addicted to audio books.
What is your favorite travel destination? I love travel and seeing new things despite not having a lot of opportunities. So far I really like Utah and Colorado and I adore London, UK.
What is the best part about Newtown? It’s definitely the library; anyone who says otherwise is lying. Nowhere else has such an incredible staff of people that are helpful, respectful, caring, and skilled. The library also saves Newtown literally millions of dollars per year.
What organizations are you part of in Newtown? I lead the Newtown Nonprofit Council, am on the Learning Subcommittee for the Newtown Allies for Change, and am a Friend of the library. As a librarian I want to meet everybody and be involved in everything, so if I don’t yet know you I look forward to meeting you!
Who or what has been the greatest influence in your life? Being a dad and husband has taught me how to be a human being. Just by being who she is, my wife Kristin has shown me so much about kindness, compassion, and blooming where you are planted.
If you could spend the day with one person, who would you choose and why? This question is really hard. I think I would choose one of my daughters twenty years from now to see how they are doing. They are both incredible young women and I am looking forward to their influence on the world.
Who is your favorite musical artist? Impossible question. Music is so important to me because it never lets you down. I have to choose The Clash. The music grew as the individuals and band evolved, and no group made such wide-ranging music focused on progressivism. They never stayed in one place.
What is the greatest piece of advice you have ever been given? I don’t know if it is the “greatest” advice, but one thing I keep coming back to was told to me by a boss I didn’t actually like all that much: “If you’re not at least slightly out of control, you’re just not going fast enough.” What I take away is that good work is most often uncomfortable — that’s a good thing, that means you’re on the right track.
What is something you cannot live without? Good coffee and my family. That’s pretty much it.
What is your proudest accomplishment? Other than my family? Individually I’m the incoming president of the CT Library Association, and I’m happy that I’ve become known for good work, being someone who can help the profession of librarianship move forward, and be a unifying presence. I’m also pretty proud of being a multiple-time Ironman race finisher.