New York Library Association. - The eBulletin

Youth Services Librarian Ginny Figlia Celebrates 25 years at Beacon Library

“Ms. Ginny” passed a love of reading on to generations of local children.

Figlia moved to Beacon in 1989, while continuing to work at the Mount Pleasant Library in Westchester.  After a year of commuting, she approached Patricia Hanna, Director of Howland Public Library, about running the Summer Reading Program.  She began as a Youth Services assistant responsible for planning and running the Summer Reading Program, implementing story times for various ages and updating the children’s materials collection.  Hanna soon offered Figlia a full-time position in Youth Services.

“I am very grateful that people had enough confidence in me to let me ‘run with the ball’, ” Figlia said.  “I knew that if someone devoted enough time and attention to making sure that the youth of the Beacon City School District had full access to library services, technology, materials, and programs that enhanced literacy, culture, and an understanding of each other, our community would benefit.”

In 1997, Figlia was asked to expand the Youth Services Department to include teens.  The Youth Advisory Committee was created, comprised of a group of teens that advises the library on programs and services for them and their peers.  Video Club, Anime, Gaming, Movies, and Battle of the Books, among other clubs, were grew out of their contributions.

“It’s very satisfying to see 30 teens (many of whom have been using the library since they were small children) come to the library after school on Fridays,” Figlia said. “Some of the teens in the Youth Advisory Committee also volunteer and/or work at the library.”

Figlia also takes pride in the Young Adult Connections Group, a support/social group for young people with Asperger’s or other social or learning challenges.  “Throughout the years I have met some amazing young people with challenges who have been the inspiration for our Young Adult Connections Group,” Figlia said.  “One young lady in particular told me that she wished there was a place where she could go to meet other young people who faced similar problems as they transitioned into adulthood.  The mission of the group is to provide young people with a safe, supportive, nonjudgmental environment so that they may express themselves, share their talents and passions, and connect with their peers and community.  With the help of an amazing parent, Ruthie Nivel, this group will now be going into its fourth year.”