OUR PEOPLE

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The Stonington Free Library is known for its friendly, welcoming and helpful staff. We are always here to greet you and connect you with collections, expertise, services, and programs both in the Library and throughout the community. Please stop by and see us!

ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF

MICAYLA HALL, Library Director

I joined the Stonington Free Library team in 2012 when I was hired as a part-time assistant to Maris Frey, Director of Youth Services. This was the first step in my library career having just graduated with my MLIS from the University of Rhode Island. I had previously worked at the Visual Resources Library in the Fine Arts Dept. of URI and interned at both Groton Public Library and the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives at Connecticut College. In 2014, I was offered a full-time position at SFL and began splitting my time between Youth Services and Adult Services. I became Assistant Director in March 2016, and in January 2021, I was appointed as Director. Throughout my many roles over the years, I have always truly enjoyed serving this wonderful community.

KARLA UMLAND, Library Assistant Director

I grew up working in my family’s small business, then went on to study English and German at Connecticut College. As a self-described “professional library patron,” I jumped at the chance to work part-time at the Bill Memorial Library in the City of Groton in 2013. This experience inspired me to begin graduate studies in library science.

Since then, I have worked in children’s services and been a coordinator for the Connecticut Library Consortium. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to start working one day per week at SFL. All this time I had been pursuing my Master’s degree, and in December, 2020 I successfully completed an MLIS through San Jose State University. I am honored to bring my education and experience to the dynamic SFL team of staff and board members.

BELINDA DE KAY, Director Emeritus

Born in England I have lived in Stonington for nearly forty years. My husband is a naval historian and author and we have three grown children and three grandsons. I have worked at the Library for over thirty years as part-time circulation staff, Assistant Director, Interim Acting Director, Director and now, after retirement Director Emeritus.

CATHY TAYLOR, Youth Services Director

In May 2013, I joined the Stonington Free Library as a Youth Services Assistant. After years of teaching, I enjoy fostering a love of reading in young children. I have lived in Southeastern Connecticut for 35 years, and love living near the ocean. I have B.A. in History from Syracuse University and a M.A.T. from Sacred Heart University.

MILLIE DONOVAN, Youth and Adult Services Assistant

I remember developing a strong love for libraries when my mom would ask that I check out Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books from my elementary school library. With each book we read together her broken English would improve along with my fluency. My mom’s love of reading is what I hoped I would pass on to my own children. We spent many hours in the Children’s Reading Room at the Stonington Free Library picking out stacks of books, making crafts, and participating in the summer reading program. After raising my family, I am eager to be a part of an institution that has given me so much already.

MICHELE CROWLEY, Development & Communications Director

Experienced Fundraiser, Administrator, and Theater Producer with a demonstrated history of working in the public and non-profit sectors. Focused on the arts and entertainment industry as well as environmental issues. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Theater, Event Management, Fundraising, and Performing Arts. Graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Marine/Urban Affairs and the Commercial Theater Institute’s 14-week producing program in NYC, nominated by Tony-Award winning Producer Tom Viertel.


KAREN, Youth Services Assistant

Karen is a library media paraprofessional at Stonington Public Schools. She has worked in early childhood education for over twenty years. She is a writer actively seeking publication, a member of two local critique groups, and belongs to an international writing organization. Karen started working at Stonington Free Library in 2019.

BRIAN, Library Technical Assistant II

I’ve never considered myself to be a bookworm, but I have always been fascinated by the art of storytelling. In their own way, stories allow us to connect with one another, immerse ourselves into new and exciting worlds, and allow us to view the world through a different set of eyes. As a library assistant, my goal is to share my passion for literature and stories while encouraging our patrons to explore new avenues and to keep an open mind.

MOLLY, Library Technical Assistant II

It took far longer than it should have for me to realize I wanted to work in a library. I’ve loved reading and visiting libraries since even before I learned how to read, and as an adult they have been a refuge for information, entertainment, and quiet study. I am currently enrolled in the Library Technology Certificate at Three Rivers Community College. It’s wonderful to work in the library I grew up attending. I love to read cozy mysteries, graphic novels, sci fi and fantasy, and young adult novels.

SANDRA, Library Assistant

After working for nearly a decade in bookstores, I decided to change careers slightly and become a librarian. Then after getting my MLIS from Simmons University in Boston, I worked for public libraries in my home state of Pennsylvania and then Rhode Island before starting at the Stonington Free Library in late 2021. I love all things horror and otherworldly, and sometimes buy books just because I like their covers.

BEX, Library Assistant

Bex is an avid reader and the mother of four lively children. She is also a self-proclaimed taco enthusiast and enjoys swapping book recommendations with library patrons.

FRANCES, Library Assistant

Libraries have been part of my life from childhood to adulthood. As a Mom raising my three boys, the library was part of their lives as well. It was a fun place both for them and for me too. It was a place where my boys were actually quiet for more than an hour! Now, being a part of the Stonington Free Library as a Library Assistant is a way for me to “pay it forward” both to the people coming into the library and the general community as well. I so much enjoy being a part of the SFL team. My co-workers are terrific and I look forward to seeing you when you come by!

DORA, Library Assistant

I’ve loved libraries since I was little with several close librarian family friends. So the thought of helping and working in one of my favorite places sounded like a great idea! I’ve greatly enjoyed it so far and it’s given me the opportunity to explore it as a second career. An avid reader, I enjoy reading biographies, historical novels and whimsical books that transport you. Being able to explore other lives and places in books led to my love of travel. When I’m not reading or traveling, I’m designing and handcrafting jewelry as a goldsmith for my business, Liv & Lov, specializing in custom engagement and heirloom pieces. I began that journey as a child apprenticing 20 years ago, later continuing my education at Providence College where I majored in Global Studies and minored in Political Science. I will be applying for a masters in librarianship later this year. It’s been wonderful working at SFL so far and look forward to serving this great community!

KYLIE, Library Assistant

Since I was young, I always would love visiting the library or reading in my spare time. My love of reading never stopped and was part of my decision to get my MLIS to become a librarian. Having graduated in 2023, I love to be able to share my love of reading to others and I am grateful for the opportunity to do that at SFL.

CLAIRE, Library Assistant

Claire Morgan recently graduated from Smith College with a BA in English Language and Literature. She is hoping to follow her mother, who once worked at Stonington Free Library, into a career in Library Science. She is glad to have found a position near her hometown where she can gain some practical experience as she works toward her MLIS. She loves to read, especially fantasy, though she has yet to develop a taste for poetry. She is always on the lookout for new graphic novels, so if you’ve recently read a good one please stop at the front desk and tell her about it!

KATE, Library Assistant

I have always been a tenacious reader and have been enjoying the smell of (old or new) books my entire life. When I graduated high school, my parents presented me with a shelf of 14 of my favorite books; all but one signed and personalized by the author. In college I earned my bachelor’s degree with a major in English and a minor in art with the hope to someday write and illustrate children’s books. While working at the Stonington Free Library, I am also earning my Master of Library Information Science Degree. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to work within a field that honors democracy, inclusivity, and life-long learning within a community.

PETER, Library Assistant

I am thrilled to be a part of the Stonington Free Library team. Libraries have always been a refuge for me, a place to wander, explore, connect, and learn about anything and everything. I am particularly drawn to local history and historical fiction, but love mysteries, graphic novels, and more! As a certified teacher and library media specialist in a local school, I advocate for our youngest readers as they develop their reading skills and encourage my students to read every day. Nothing matches the joy of helping a reader find the perfect book. I’m looking forward to being a steward to the community as you engage and explore our many resources.

ALAYNA SOFIA, Library Assistant

The library has always been the place I have felt most at home so when I was deciding what I wanted to do with the rest of my life I knew I wanted to spend as much of it in libraries as I could. In 2022 I graduated from Three Rivers Community College with an Associate’s of Science and a Certificate of Library Technology. I currently attend Southern Connecticut State University for information sciences. When I am not studying you can usually find me reading comic books and poetry or listening to audio books and baking.

McKENNA, Library Assistant

I recently graduated from Juniata College in 2023 and realized that I wanted to work in a library. Libraries were the place I would go right after school when I was a kid and stayed there until right before dinner. I love reading and have way too many books on my bookshelf at home. My favorite books are mysteries and fantasies, but I will read almost anything.

 

 

 

Board of Trustees

Kevin Bowdler, President

Betsy Bowman, Vice-President and Treasurer

Diana Beck, Secretary

 

 

Ann Baldelli

Marggie Blake

Kathryn Brandl

Will Dittman

Denise Easton

 

Jean Fiore

Mike Fontana

William Griffith

Jocelyn Kepple

Julie Quinn

 


"For my family, SFL is our go-to place. It’s the anchor of the community. I'm committed to sustaining this treasure for all of Stonington."
Kate Randolph, Former Vice President
"The Library is the most vital and best governed institution in our community. Its effectiveness is demonstrated in its increased use by all ages."
Susan P. Martin, Former Chair of the Program Committee
“The Library provides an invaluable resource to the community and I’m proud to be part of its present and future.”
Stephen Bessette, Former Trustee
"The special character of Stonington life derives from the unusually high level of local civic engagement. The Library is its premier civic institution."
Richard Cole, Former Secretary
"The Library is our town’s Community Center for the mind, connecting us to each other and the world."
Scott W. Muller, Former Vice President
"There is no other building in town where everyone feels welcome and part of something special the moment they walk through the front door."
Sage D. Williams, Trustee
"Any library can provide books, but the Stonington Free Library builds community through its services, thoughtful speakers, and wonderfully helpful librarians."
Deborah Dodds, Former Trustee
"The Library has enriched the lives of five generations of Kepples: my grandmother, my mother who served as Librarian, me, my four children and now my grandson!"
Nicholas Kepple, Former President 
"It's a privilege to join this outstanding Library Board. This cherished institution is a key part of our community and deserves the support of all of us."
David S. Purvis, Treasurer