Written by Doug Finlay Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00
Since grabbing the reins as the new director of the Levittown Public Library, on Feb. 1, Trina Reed has been hitting the ground running. Taking the place of former director Celeste Watman, who retired after eight years as Levittown’s chief librarian, Reed is already mingling with the public to find new ways to improve what is considered the central library in Nassau County.
“We receive or hold documents in this library that are not available to any other library in the Nassau system and may be hard to find,” Reed said. According to Reed, the library features a government documents librarian whose purpose is to research hard-to-find documents and circulate them to other libraries when requested. She added that its central status enables it to receive New York State aid to achieve its mission of maintaining the librarian position and the research. Only the East Meadow Public Library shares a similar status, as “co-central” library.
“I came here to look for a new challenge,” she added.
Prior to coming to Levittown, Reed served as the director of the Uniondale Public Library, where she worked with staff to implement several new programs and services, including the Museum Pass Collection, the Uniondale Public Library Oral History Project and librarian visits to home childcare facilities. In addition, Reed said she helped implement new technology and oversaw the construction of a wireless classroom training center and theater renovation.
“My last construction project at the Uniondale Public Library was the creation of a new teen space, adult learning center and library café,” Reed said. “The final phase of the construction project is in progress now.”
Beginning her career in 1984 as a page at the Hempstead Public Library, she received her Master of Library Science degree from Queens College in 1993. After graduating, Reed went on to work as a reference and a children’s librarian at several libraries in New York and New Jersey, before coming across an opportunity to live in Japan as an Information Specialist.
Returning stateside, she would later be given director positions at libraries in Lakeview and Elmont.
Libraries are no longer just conservatories of books, she said, but are adapting to a digital future. Currently, the Levittown Public Library has 18 computers, 8 laptops and 5 iPads. She added that a grant for 23 Google Nexus tablets would soon make the devices available for library patrons.
Perhaps the most exciting device in its evergrowing arsenal, is the 3D printer, which creates real and palpable three-dimensional objects. “We’re still studying that technology before we make it available to the public,” she said, but promised that the 3D printer will soon be available to patrons.
With state projects being developed, to turn libraries into community resource centers in the event of another catastrophic weather event, Reed said the concept of the library as a community resource center is already here.
“We are no longer just conservatories of books,” Reed asserted, but “we are community centers.”
According to Reed, this is an exciting time to work in the library, as they typically reinvent themselves to keep up wwith the changing needs of their communities.
“I look forward to getting to know the Levittown community... to find out what special or unique programs and services they want in our library,” Reed said. “I will work to enhance the items they like and improve the areas our patrons don’t like.”