St. C. Library has new director

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — There is a new librarian in town.

Robyn E. Vittek began her duties as St. Clairsville Library director on Feb. 10. The Buckeye Local graduate brings a wealth of experience and a host of accolades to her new post.

She returns to the Ohio Valley after a 12-year stay at the Akron-Summit County Public Library.

“I am thrilled to be back in the Ohio Valley and excited to work with a library that is so vital to the community,” Vittek said. “St. Clairsville Public Library has a reputation for innovative programming and a great collection, including an exceptional local history collection. We recently opened a new technology center and have big plans for the future.”

She has quickly ingrained herself into the hilltop community. Vittek has attended several local meetings and fundraisers.

“You’ll see me around,” Vittek said. “The library is the heart of the community, and I want to make sure we’re out there and reminding everyone what a valuable asset they have in their library.”

The new library director brings passion and energy to her new charge.

“The position brings something new and different every day,” Vittek said. “It is both exciting and challenging. My staff has been tremendous.”

That staff consists of 11 part-timers and five full-time employees. Vittek replaces Richelle Klug, while being aided in the transitional phase by former long-time director Sheila Perkins.

“Sheila has been a great help with getting me acclimated with the library and all that goes with it,” Vittek offered.

Vittek has a clear focus on her game plan for the library.

“I want the library to be a vital part of the community. I want us to be a part of everything that goes on,” Vittek noted. She has championed her facility’s cause by wasting no time in making herself visible at community meetings such as the St. C.-Richland Board of Education and the St. C. Rotary.

Vittek points out the library’s coverage area is that of the St. C. school district. She adds that the facility has a whopping 5,900 cardholders.

“The library has a lot of potential. We have a well-educated staff,” Vittek said. “Our new tech center opened in December and has been a popular attraction. Gas and oil workers have been coming in on a regular basis for research and we also have a lot of genealogical activities.

“We are fortunate to have a tremendous IT guy, and one of my passions is the teen section. Amanda (Gossett) does a wonderful job with the teens and has established “Teen Tech Week: and an “Animoto” program. We are happy to have a busy library.”

Vittek did inherit one nagging issue. That being securing sufficient library funding.

“Public library funding has decreased by as much as 40 percent. We have to do more with less,” she said. “We are fortunate to have The Friends of The Library and the foundation to support us.”

Donations also provide a boost to operating costs.

Vittek was selected for her the post from the library’s board of trustees. It consists of Debbie Gordon, John S. Marshall, John Buchanan, Terri Walters, Lori Clark David Trouten and Linda Hudson.

The library is open Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

Vittek earned degrees from The Ohio State University (English in 1999) and Franciscan University of Steubenville (2001 master’s in education), as well as a Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University (2002). She has previously been employed at the Public Library of Steubenville.

She has been recognized for her career achievements by the American Library Association and several state-wide organizations.

Vittek was also accorded the prestigious Drew Carey Scholarship. The Cleveland comedian donated $614K to Ohio libraries and colleges. Kent State received $50K to be used as scholarships for students pursuing master’s degrees in library science, specializing in young adult services. Vittek was one of the recipients.

She resides in Tiltonsville with her husband, Louis.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@tiemsleaderonline.com