Ginny Figlia expanded library’s youth services
In July, the Howland Public Library is marking a special anniversary: Youth Services Librarian Ginny Figlia is celebrating 25 years at HPL. A fixture in the Beacon community, “Ms. Ginny,” as she is known at the library, has been imparting a love of reading to generations of children in the area.
Figlia moved to Beacon in 1989 from Sleepy Hollow. At the time, she was working at the Mount Pleasant Library in Westchester. After a year of commuting, she approached the director of HPL about running the Summer Reading Program; 25 years later, Figlia is still here.
Figlia learned the library did not have a children’s librarian or any formal children’s department. She began as a youth services assistant, planning and running the Summer Reading Program, implementing story times for various ages and updating the children’s materials collection. Soon after, Figlia was offered the position of full-time youth services librarian. Figlia began creating the Children’s Department the youth of Beacon enjoy today.
Over the years, Figlia has expanded the Youth Services Department to include teens and infants. The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) advises the library on programs and services the library can implement for teens, and the Young Adult Connections Group is a support/social group for young people with Asperger’s or other social or learning challenges. In 2008, the community’s youngest patrons were added to the youth department’s repertoire. The library now has a full-range Youth Services Department with programs for infants to young adults, including many after-school programs.
Looking back on the past 25 years, Figlia said: “It is a privilege to have worked and collaborated with so many talented individuals and wonderful community organizations such as the Wee Play Community Program, and with the Beacon City School District. It is a thrill to see so many of my ‘little ones’ now bringing their own ‘little ones’ into the library. I like to think that in some small way I’ve helped to enhance the education of Beacon’s young citizens and instilled a lifelong love of reading in them.”
Photo by Michelle Rivas/courtesy of Howland Public Library