Halley promises to maintain library’s ‘culture’

GREENVILLE – A familiar face has accepted the director’s position at Greenville Public Library.

This fall, Susi Halley, who has worked as the assistant director of the library since 2005, was named director.

The position became available due to the retirement of John Vehre.

Halley, who joined the library staff as its capital campaign coordinator in 2003, is a natural fit as the library’s director.

After conducting a search for a new director this summer, a couple of other librarians from the Miami Valley area were interviewed, Halley said, but a promise she made to the library board sealed the deal.

“My promise was that we would keep the culture of our library,” she explained.

The “culture” Halley refers to not only includes its patrons, but also the library’s dedicated employees who oversee a variety of programming needs.

“We have a very creative staff and we try to give them as much autonomy as we can to do their job,” Halley said of the library’s 25 full and part time employees.

“They come up with their own ideas as far as our programs. We have a lot for the size of our library and we have something for everybody,” Halley said.

Some of the favorite adult programs sponsored by the library include the craft beer classes and the Third Floor Film series. Other offerings include Lunch and Learn with guest speakers.

“We try to have a lot of variety,” Halley added, including historical, crafts, nature, wellness and guest author programs.

Teens can participate in a variety of tournaments and programs, including Lego Robotics.

“The teen area will be getting new furniture this year, which will allow more kids to participate because there will be more seating,” Halley said.

The Children’s Puppet Theater also is popular, with children’s librarian Julie Kennett, her husband Reuben, who is the library’s IT and building maintenance supervisor, along with Joanna Brown create puppet plays using children’s books and stories.

The three also have the ability to take their puppets and portable stage on the road to perform for schools and day care facilities.

Patrons of the library also have the ability to download their favorite music, Halley said, as well as access to e-books and e-magazines, computers and comfy readying spots.

“We also have a telescope and hot spots that can be checked out,” she added. “We try to keep up with latest in technology offerings. We have something for everybody.”

Halley compared the library to a community.

“Libraries are different from how they used to be. It’s like the hub of a community. Everyone is welcome. It’s a place you can go for the day where you don’t have to buy anything.”

Halley officially assumes the position of library director this coming week. An open house to honor Vehre’s service is planned for 3-6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18.

The library’s hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed on Sunday.

PHOTO CAPTION: Susi Halley is the new director for Greenville Public Library. (Susan Hartley photo)


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