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One for the books

Colleagues praise retiring Voorheesville Library Youth Services director’s passion and creativity

Voorheesville Public Library Director of Youth and Family Services Joyce Laoisa is retiring after more than 15 years of service.

Voorheesville Public Library Director of Youth and Family Services Joyce Laoisa is retiring after more than 15 years of service.

— Fellows said Laoisa has mentored many colleagues in the Upper Hudson Library system and has reached out to other libraries and “very generously” offered her experience, knowledge and help.

“She has shown them what it is to be an active, creative professional librarian and give wonderful service to your community,” Fellows said. “She passionately cares about kids, tweens and teens, and it is her mission to help them really enjoy the best literature and the best experiences that a public library can offer.”

Sacco said Laoisa expanded the breadth of children and family services at the library, including offering more parenting resources and paying more attention to tweens and teens.

Laoisa said libraries are where new parents go to find a network of people to support them and also begin to see the library as a part of the community.

“It gets you in the rhythm that libraries are places to meet, talk and get to know each other,” Laoisa said. “I feel that (libraries) are a part of the community and they are a resource for the community.”

Reaching out and connecting with an increasingly tech-savvy community, particularly children, is no easy task, too.

“The fact that people are so involved with television, videos on YouTube and Netflix, they sometimes fail to realize all of the offerings a library has,” Laoisa said.

Fellows said Laoisa was great at finding a book to connect with any reader.

“She is an extraordinary book talker,” Fellows said. “If you want to know what to read next, no matter what age you are, she is the person to go to.”

Laoisa said whenever she had a new idea or program to try out, Sacco would welcome her suggestion.

Shortly after starting at Voorheesville, Laoisa was able to get an American Library Association exhibit incorporating math and picture books. Laoisa said she was always be looking for grant opportunities to expand the library’s offerings.

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