Turning the page: New library director seeks to make an impact


In May, The Hamilton East Public Library Board of Trustees announced that Melissa Loiselle had been unanimously appointed as the new library director. Loiselle is gearing up to implement her vision for the library, which has branches in Fishers and Noblesville.

According to Kelsey Sweet, HEPL’s director of marketing and communications, the board began looking for a new library director in January. HEPL Board of Trustees President Craig Siebe said he was confident about putting Loiselle in the role.

“After the board of trustees’ director search and selection process, I am confident that Melissa is the right person to lead HEPL into its next chapter,” Siebe said. “The board of trustees looks forward to working with Melissa to achieve HEPL’s strategic priorities.”

Former HEPL Director Edra Waterman, who had been in the position for 12 years, announced her resignation in December 2023.

“Melissa was one of our deputy directors at that time and served as co-interim director until she was officially named our library director recently,” Sweet said. “Her strategic vision and proven track record in libraries make her the ideal candidate to lead HEPL into the future.”

In her new role, Sweet said Loiselle will oversee the executive administration of the library and work closely with the HEPL Board of Trustees and Leadership Team to drive innovation, discovery, equity and access within the growing community.

Loiselle said she has three primary goals for the library.

“One is getting our Library Foundation launched,” Loiselle said. “We hope that will help support the library financially and allow us to stretch our dollars further. Secondly, completing a feasibility study for the third branch is important and using it to move in the direction of being able to add a third branch. And the third one is just having a strong working relationship with other community partners and making sure that our services and programs meet the needs of what the community wants.”

Another housekeeping item Loiselle wants to address is soothing any hard feelings that might linger in the community that arose in 2022 after a controversial book review policy that the library later rescinded.

“We are actively working to make sure we have good working relationships with our appointing authorities and the leadership in both cities,” Loiselle said. “We are also making sure the public knows we’re available to answer questions or talk through things with them and that we want to be a true partner in our planning. We’re working to improve our library offerings to meet the community’s needs better. I think that that will help.”

HEPL also recently opened the Crossroads Discovery Center at its Noblesville branch, which has new interactive exhibits on local history. Loiselle said she is excited about the latest addition.

“We have all of the old collections that were in the Indiana room, but then we also have this newly added experiential part that is more of a museum experience,” Loiselle said. “We are hoping the public will come up and enjoy it, but we’re also hoping we can get a lot of field trips and classes to learn about genealogy and local history as well.”

Loiselle said her goal with both branches is to encourage more people to visit the libraries.

“We always want to see our circulation numbers going up and our cardholders going up, so I think my goal is fairly similar across both buildings,” Loiselle said. “We want to see what people respond to and if our programs and services meet the needs of the public at both locations.”

Loiselle has a Master of Library Science degree from Indiana University and has 14 years of experience in the library field. Previously, she was the Youth Services manager of the Fishers Library before becoming the director of the Vernon Township Public Library. She rejoined HEPL as a deputy director in November 2023.

“I live in Fishers and have strong ties to the community,” Loiselle said. “I love having the ability to work at my hometown library, where I started my career. I love this library system. The deputy director position that was open fit with my background. Then, when Edra left and the director position opened, it seemed to be a perfect fit, being able to take over the directorship at my hometown library.”

Loiselle initially planned to teach for a living but found that path less ideal.

“I worked in schools for a long time before I became a librarian,” Loiselle said. “I taught briefly and realized I was not good at it, and teaching is tough. I was sort of flailing about, and somebody said, ‘What about libraries?’ It sort of clicked and seemed like an obvious career path.”

Loiselle wanted to work as a school media specialist, but there were no open positions when she earned her degree.

“There was a job opening in the services department at the Hamilton East Public Library, and I took that job, and I just loved it,” Loielle said. “I loved working at the public library. I loved the freedom that it has that schools don’t have. I just loved it once I was there.”

Loiselle is excited about leading the library and becoming a strong partner with both communities.

“We want to be good partners with other organizations and political entities and also offer the things that the people want,” Loiselle said.” We very much want the library to reflect the community’s needs.”

For more, visit hamiltoneastpl.org.

Noblesville Library 2
The Hamilton East Public Library’s Noblesville branch. (Photo courtesy of Kelsey Sweet)



1 Library Plaza, Noblesville, IN 46060


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  • Sunday: Noon to 6 p.m.