New director takes helm at Newfield Public Library

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The Newfield Public Library welcomed Danielle Perkins as its new director on Feb. 1, 2019. Danielle (“Dani”), originally from Lewistown, Illinois, now makes her home in West Danby with her husband, Dennis, daughter Haven, age 12, and son Diallo, age 9. She takes over from the former director, Tammy Kubinec, who served as library director for the past six years.


Perkins, who had worked for six years in Ithaca College’s Residential Life Department, decided she wanted a change of pace, something that would challenge her in a creative and active way. She was immediately drawn to the library director position and is very excited to have been offered the job.
She was familiar with the library as she had hosted a variety of craft nights there. She likes to share her interests in art, knitting, and crafts. Attending Art School at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Perkins said she did have a moment of uncertainty when she asked herself whether she wanted to continue in the field of art or study Library Science. At the time she chose a future in art, but now, she said, “I believe it was meant to be for me to be here at the library.”


The library was originally organized in 1889 at the residence of John H.L. Puff. “Johnny” Puff lived in the house that still stands on the southeast corner of Main and Pearl Streets.


The library is now located in a charming building at 198 Main Street in Newfield that once was known as the Grange building, and was donated to the library by the Grange in 1970. The library had been located on the south side of Main Street near the present west side of the Tioga State Bank parking lot next to the sidewalk when it burned on Sept. 19, 1969. Many of the books were salvaged and stored in an unused relocatable classroom on the Newfield Central School grounds. In the 1990s the library underwent a major expansion and renovation project.


The inside of the library is visually joyful. It is bright and cheerful, with light coming through the large picture window at the front of the building. It is warm in the winter and air-conditioned in the summer. A bulletin board by the front entrance is overflowing with notices about community and library events, and there is a library cart filled with books to purchase for 50 cents.


The sections of the library are divided by books of interest for children, youth, teens, and adults. The children’s section has seating which includes the tiniest recliner I had ever seen! There are five public computers and a maker space upstairs with a new 3-D printer.


At the very back of the library is the Mary Humpton Room, named after a loyal library supporter, and used for story time, book groups, and more.


Perkins’s staff includes a library assistant, Dr. Joan Lockwood, three librarians working part-time, teens from Newfield High School and a dedicated group of volunteers.


To date, the library has over 1,000 active cardholders, and in 2018 there were 16,573 visits to the library.


The library serves the community in numerous other ways, also, offering a senior exercise class twice a week and story time every Tuesday morning, movie nights, craft nights, musical guests, a summer reading program, and more. A beautiful quilt hanging on the wall, designed by Sandy Rouleau, pieced by Jane Koestler, and quilted by Angie Roux, was raffled off on February 15 and won by Ann-Marie Esposito. The next quilt retreat, which provides a quiet space in the library for quilters to work on their projects without interruption, will be held on March 29. For more information on that and to reserve your space please contact Paula Kilts at kiltsfind@yahoo.com.


Library hours are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 2 to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, please call the library at (607) 564-3594 or visit the website at newfieldpubliclibrary.org.


Stop by to welcome Perkins to the library!

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