‘I had my children, who were in fourth and second grade, go to my graduation from library school so they could see good things happen when you pursue your dreams even when there are obstacles.’
“I began my career after college in rehab counseling for New York City, a challenging situation with a 100-person caseload. I changed careers and went back to school for computer science, which was in high demand and cutting edge. When I got married, my husband worked for the Department of Defense, so we needed to be on Long Island. Without family and friends, the local library was my lifeline.
“I met friends at the toddler programs and my children began their love of books. I decided to reinvent myself again by becoming a librarian. There were challenges along the way to my second master’s degree, especially with two young children and during this time my husband had a terrible accident resulting in a spinal cord injury. He’s doing better now.
We knew parents were isolated and overwhelmed, so we utilized Facebook to provide programming available anytime.
“I had my children, who were in fourth-and second-grade, go to my graduation from library school so they could see good things happen when you pursue your dreams even when there are obstacles. I worked part-time at Westbury Library and Islip Library, and when my homelife settled down I started a full-time job 14 years ago at Half Hollow Hills Community Library where I’m head of Children’s Services. The pandemic has presented challenges to serving our patrons. We knew parents were isolated and overwhelmed, so we utilized Facebook to provide programming available anytime.
“Our library quickly adapted our use of social media for our community with videos and live streams for children to see their librarians every day. We wanted to be a reassuring, familiar face, so we created a daily schedule of story times and tutorials for students. We reached out to our PTAs to share library online resources to help students with remote learning and provided WiFi hotspots to every student in the district who didn’t have internet. Our book drop became a food drop donation for local food pantries. The library has had an important role in my life and I’m happy to share with families the potential of what libraries can offer in their lives.”