Orange’s Case Memorial Library welcomed a new Executive Director on November 30. Milford resident Kathy Giotsas took the helm from Meryl Farber, who is retiring after 18 years. The two co-piloted the library for the past few weeks as Giotsas learned the ropes from Farber. “I have met a lot of great people so far,” Giotsas says of her first couple of weeks in Orange. “Meryl was a great help and has done a phenomenal job with the library and I plan to take what she has created, give it a fresh look and improve something that is already really great.”
Giotsas plans to bring the library more up to date with a new technology program that will help bring in the town’s generation that tends not to use the library: teenagers. “We have wonderful offerings for our seniors and our younger children, but now we need to commit to the teens,” she said.
“At the last library I worked at, we had a program for teens where they built a computer from scratch and then developed games on it,” she said. Giotsas knows that such programs cost money that might not be available in tightly budgeted times, so she plans to apply for grants for funding. “Grants are available to towns, whether they are affluent or not. With an emphasis on STEM, we can justify grants that may lead to funding for technology.”
She’d also like to strengthen relationships with the Orange Board of Education and the Chamber of Commerce by offering resources for the town’s businesspeople. Giotsas has a full background in library leadership and education.
Since September, she has been working as a substitute teacher in Milford schools. Prior to that, she was executive director of Great Neck Library in New York, a four-location library system with 96 employees, an operating budget of $9.6 million and serving the needs of a community with 43,000 residents. From 2011 to 2015, she was executive director for the West Haven Public Library’s three-locations and bookmobile.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Bridgeport, a Master of Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute, a Master of Science in Certificate Information Systems from Pace University and a Master of Business Administration in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.
“I’m excited to be here. Meryl is wonderful to work with and has really made my first few weeks great,” Giotsas said. The library honored Farber with a retirement reception on November 16.
By Mellissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent