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.

STEPHANIE CALHOUN, Development and Communications Director

I have lived in Southeastern Connecticut for over a decade, having relocated to the area for my husband’s naval career. We have four wonderful children. I have been involved with civic minded groups in fundraising and event planning for over 25 years. I am excited to be part of the Stonington Free Library, I hope my work here helps the library to enrich lives and build community by bringing information, ideas and people together. I have a BS in Community Development and a MSA in Fundraising and Philanthropy from Central Michigan University.

MARIS FREY, Youth Services Director

After moving to the area from Massachusetts as a public school Assistant Librarian, I joined the Stonington Free Library part-time in 2006. When the Children/Teen Department position became available, I came “downstairs” full-time. My son remarked, “Mom, you get to be Mrs. Hurley”, the Children’s Librarian from our former town. His comment reminds me daily of the impact of my chosen path. I have an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and half completion of a M.Ed.

 

LIBRARY ASSISTANTS

CATHY, Youth Services Assistant

In May 2013, I joined the Stonington Free Library as a part-time assistant in the Children’s Room. I enjoy working with Maris Frey planning and implementing special events and the Summer Reading Program. I am a full time teacher and working in the library offers me the opportunity to help children in a different capacity. I have lived in Southeastern Connecticut for 35 years, and enjoy living near the ocean. I have B.A. in History from Syracuse University and a M.A.T. from Sacred Heart University.

IVY, Library Technical Assistant II

After graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Biological Sciences I worked various jobs in and out of the field of science. My love for research and advancing knowledge fit naturally into the position of library assistant. I look forward to helping all patrons access the wonderful array of services that the SFL has to offer.

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.

DEB, Library Assistant

Having been in the business world for most of my adult life, I realized I was ready for a change and working in a library is something I have always wanted to do. I enrolled in the Three Rivers Community College Library Technology Certificate Program and was fortunate to find a position here at SFL in 2020. The library has always represented the truest form of community for me and I enjoy helping patrons, getting to know them and being a part of the enthusiasm that seems to surround the library.

MOLLY, Library Assistant

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.

ALYSSA, Library Assistant

I grew up visiting my hometown library at least twice a week every summer vacation. I knew as I got older that I wanted to turn my love of reading into a career and went on to become an elementary school teacher in Boston and studied to earn a Masters degree in reading. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the classroom and watching my students grow, however as I reflected upon my own goals I realized I truly wanted to get into the field of working in a public library. I started in the MLS program at the University of Rhode Island in the summer of 2021 and soon after was given the opportunity to become a library assistant at the Stonington Free Library. I have learned so much already and I look forward to learning so much more from all my amazing colleagues here!

Board of Trustees

Allegra Griffiths, Co-President

Denise Easton, Co-President

Kevin Bowdler, Vice President and Treasurer

Richard Cole, Secretary

Ann Baldelli

Diane Beck

Marggie Blake

Betsy Bowman

Kathryn Brandl

 

 

Jean Fiore

William Griffith

David S. Purvis

Clare E. Sheridan

Sage D. Williams


"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, 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, 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, Secretary
"The Library is our town’s Community Center for the mind, connecting us to each other and the world."
Scott W. Muller, 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, 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