After a lengthy and comprehensive search, Nesmith Library assistant director, Sylvie Brikiatis, has been officially named as the library’s new director. She assumes that position vacated at the end of 2018 by longtime director Carl Heidenblad, who retired.
“I am very pleased to make this announcement. In a search that spanned the state and New England region, it was clear that Sylvie is the best person to fill this important position, and the board is confident that she will serve the library, the town, and its residents well,” said Tara Picciano, outgoing chair of the Windham Nesmith Library Board of Trustees. “She has exceptional knowledge of the inner workings of a library, forward-thinking vision, and the expertise to serve as director. We are confident in our selection and look forward to working with her well into the future.”
Since Heidenblad’s departure, Brikiatis has been serving as interim director. Since January 2016, she has been assistant director, where she gained firsthand knowledge pertaining to the running of Nesmith Library, by assisting with the overall operation, including financial planning and oversight; helping to manage staff training, development, and planning; and working with the town on behalf of the library. While assistant director, she also retained the position/duties of young adult librarian, developing and implement teen programming and services, including the organizing and overseeing the Teen Advisory Group; providing support to teens for school assignments in the form of book groups and SAT practice tests; and implementing a homework help program; and more.
In addition, Brikiatis has been an active leader within the state library system. She has chaired the teen group within GMILCS, a consortium of New Hampshire public and academic libraries; served as president of the Young Adult section of the New Hampshire Library Association (NHLA); created a statewide spelling bee for home-schooled students; and had the honor of serving as president of NHLA. She also completed NELLS (New England Library Leadership Symposium), a selective and intensive training program for which only a few librarians from each state are nominated to attend.
Prior to her positions at the Nesmith Library, Brikiatis worked as a substitute librarian in Plaistow, as well as a substitute teacher in the Windham School District and as a library volunteer at the Windham Center School, among other employment. In 2011, she received her Master of Library Science from Southern Connecticut University. Prior, she earned a BA in French literature at the University of Maine and a Certificat de la Lanque Francaise at the University of Paris – Sorbonne.
“I am so pleased to be continuing my work here at the library,” Brikiatis said. “I welcome residents to stop by, say hello, and have a chat about how the library can positively impact the community going forward.”