New director takes reigns at Great Neck Library

Justine Schoenbart

After beginning her term as director Great Neck Library on Aug. 3, Kathy Giotsas said she is looking forward to getting to know the Great Neck staff and community.

“I think it’s very important for me to get to know the staff first and get to know the community a lot better,” Giotsas said. “With the interviews and going around and meeting the staff, I’ve gotten to know [the staff] as individuals, but now I can get to know them more in depth.” 

She said she plans on getting to know the community both by being present at different programs run by the library and also by making a permanent residence in Great Neck. 

Giotsas, who currently lives in Connecticut, said she plans to move to the area in September. 

She said she as an “open door policy” for community members who are interested in speaking to her regarding concerns or programs they have an interest in. 

Giotsas, who most recently served as executive director for the West Haven Public Library in Connecticut, has also worked as a reference librarian, library media specialist, circulation librarian, branch head law librarian, health science librarian manager, legal information analyst and law library supervisor.

“Career wise, I think this is the next step for me,” Giotsas said. “It’s a larger library, and larger staff, and larger budget. After coming to the interview, I saw the staff was really receptive to my ideas.”

Giotsas said that the library will be conducing interviews for a new Levels director, which she expects to be her first hire in her new position. 

The library is looking to replace former Levels director Ethan Mann, who submitted a letter of resignation in May after 17 years of being involved with the program. Mann’s departure was met with much opposition from residents who questioned the board as to whether or not Mann was fired. 

“We do want to fill that position, but we want to get the right person,” Giotsas said. “We want someone that will mesh with the community and the kids, and with the library staff.” 

“We want to see that whole program grow and thrive,” she added. 

With construction for the Main Branch scheduled to be completed in late May, Giotsas said she will be looking at what positions may be needed when the renovated building opens. 

“If we see that we have an increase in usage and that there are new programs developed that we need additional staffing for, we’ll re-evaluate it at that time. I don’t want to overstaff before we open the building,” she said. 

The new director holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, a master’s degree in library science, a master’s certificate in information systems and master’s degree in business administration.

“The Great Neck Library Board of Trustees is confident that the abilities of Kathy Giotsas as a leader, listener and team player will make her a positive and strong addition to the library’s exceptional staff,” Great Neck Library programming assistant Debbie Feldman said in a press release. 

Giotsas said she is looking to see how the library can provide more services that will help to add value to the community. 

“I think that a lot of good things can happen here,” she said. “You have a staff that’s really open to creating a great environment for the community and a board that’s looking to add value to the community.”

 

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Justine Schoenbart

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