Naples Library Update

June 25, 2021

Dear Naples Community,

This summer has arrived with several exciting transitions happening at the Naples Library! We are pleased to announce that Kendyl Litwiller has accepted the position of Director, currently a Provisional position, pending successful completion of the Civil Service exam for a Manager position in August. We also welcome Danielle Tcholakian, our new Part-Time Clerk, who began on June 21st.

Kendyl Litwiller

Kendyl is a familiar face to library patrons and throughout our community. In addition to serving at the library for over 4 years, including as Full-Time Library Clerk and Bookkeeper, Kendyl is also an active volunteer with Bristol Valley Theater, and is fondly remembered from earlier days at Roots Cafe. As a long time dedicated employee of the Naples Library, Kendyl has shown a consistent desire to grow and take on additional responsibility. Recently Kendyl was one of twelve women selected to participate in the Pioneer Library System Women in Leadership Program. Kendyl enjoys being part of the Naples community and serving the people in it.

Danielle answered our job posting for a Part-Time Clerk position, shared on our library website and through social media. Danielle has substantial experience as a freelance writer and researcher, and as an adjunct professor at The New School college in NYC where she taught journalism. Danielle also shares a passion for working with teens.

Danielle Tcholakian, Tina Newton, Kendyl Litwiller

The process to fill the Director and Part-Time Clerk positions was initiated by our personnel committee (comprised of Naples Library Board Trustees), immediately following the board’s acceptance on May 19, 2021 of resignation letters from former Library Director Judy Schewe, and former Library Clerk Tina Newton.

Judy Schewe submitted her letter on May 12, 2021 to say that her last day would be June 4th. She plans to seek a position that allows for more professional growth. She said, “I’ve enjoyed working for Naples Library and I value my time here.”

Judy served as the Director of the Naples Public Library for 4 years, from 2017 to 2021. During that time, she introduced many new resources, materials, programs, and upgraded facilities; she overhauled the library’s online presence with a new website and engagement with the community through social media. Last but not least, she secured grant funding for projects that will take the Naples Library well into the future. To achieve this degree of change and innovation, Judy used her considerable skills of planning, budgeting, and project management.

Judy also saw the Naples Library through the onset and emerging recovery of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this challenging time, she modeled flexibility, creativity, and her commitment to serve the community first. We are grateful for her service and the many achievements she accomplished during her time of leadership. We wish her the best in her future endeavors.

We are also saying good-bye to Tina Newton, whose contributions to the library have spanned almost 4 years. Tina is planning to focus more on family, and we look forward to seeing her bright smile return from time to time with special programs at the library to share her many creative talents.

As a “School District Public Library”, the Naples Library falls under NYS Civil Service Law, which mandates that for hiring a new library director, our board must follow Civil Service practices. Under the guidance of the Executive Director of the Pioneer Library System (PLS), the team posted a job listing through the Ontario County Civil Service unit, who then canvassed candidates who were eligible for a “Manager” position (the Civil Service equivalent of a Library Director). Our job listing described seeking “an organized leader who has a community-oriented spirit and values their staff, works well with trustees, committees, and Friends of the Naples Library. The ideal candidate would be an innovative individual who is prepared to lead our organization into the future.”

Interviews were held at the PLS facility in Canandaigua, conducted in person by the personnel committee. The team collectively developed interview questions to reflect what we were seeking, and all candidates were asked the same questions. The process lasted several days, through June 14th – 18th and June 21st. After a thorough review of all the candidates interviewed, the team made their decision. Both new hires were approved by the Board of Trustees on June 23rd.

In addition to welcoming new employees, we would like to recognize Ally Makepeace, who has done an outstanding job utilizing her talent and passion to create and host virtual story times, along with collaborating on development of a robust and fun summer Storytime program.

This is an extra exciting time for the Naples Library as we continue moving towards goals that were set during Judy’s time with us, including an expansion project that will align with our vision to “inform, inspire, educate and entertain area residents of all ages, in an easily accessed, resource rich environment.” The expansion will occur on both levels of the library (first floor and lower level), combined for a total addition of over 1,000 square feet. Plans include a new entrance along Harwood Lane (the street which runs behind the town and village offices), an elevator to allow accessibility between floors, glass-windowed meeting rooms, a Young Adults section, and a second circulation desk at the lower level entry. HBT Architects from Rochester, NY has been hired to design the new plans, currently under review by the Naples Joint Planning Board. Watch for updates about this project to be shared on the Naples Library website and Facebook page.

With Kendyl as our Provisional Director, and the addition of Danielle, along with Ally, we are confident that we have an exceptional team to take us into the future. We invite you to stop by the library to congratulate Kendyl and Danielle, participate in our Summer Reading programs, and learn more about all of our exciting plans for the future!

Sincerely,

Naples Library Board of Trustees

Aaron Mumby, President
Deidre Dutcher, Vice-President
Lisa Jensen, Secretary
Janis Pridmore, Treasurer
Chris Abraham, Trustee
Jerry Bay, Trustee
Linda Strauss-Jones, Trustee
Kim Torpey, Trustee
Paul Lambiase, Board Member Elect