Amherst town employee, library curator parting ways for jobs in Belchertown


Staff Writer
Monday, June 06, 2022

AMHERST — After more than seven years as the curator of special collections at the Jones Library, Cyndi Harbeson is departing to become the director of the Clapp Memorial Library in Belchertown.

Harbeson will replace Sheila McCormick, who is retiring in June, at the neighboring town’s library.

Harbeson’s position is one of two in Amherst town government that will soon be vacant.

Also leaving Amherst is human resources manager Joanne Misiaszek, who will become human resources director for Belchertown.

Misiaszek, whose job includes overseeing employee benefits, served as interim director before the town hired Donna-Rae Kenneally in 2020.

Library Director Sharon Sharry credited Harbeson with spotlighting the town’s history and building partnerships during her tenure that began in early 2015.

“Her biggest contribution has been bringing the Jones out to the community,” Sharry told trustees at a meeting Wednesday.

Harbeson also treated the collection with care and respect, Sharry said, and made sure all items were put in the right locations.

Harbeson’s tenure included accepting in 2016 a gift of letters, Christmas cards and books signed by poet Robert Frost to Amherst businessman Warren R. Brown, presenting on town history at the inauguration of Amherst’s first Town Council in December 2018, and coping with a malfunctioning heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the special collections room that damaged books and manuscript boxes in 2020.

In the past two years, Harbeson created all COVID procedures for the library as it reopened and oversaw the branch library operations, and has undertaken a pruning of the fine arts collections. That recently included giving the communion table from the Enfield Congregational Church, located in one of the lost Quabbin Reservoir towns, to the Swift River Valley Historical Society Museum.