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New Program Director: Amy Harris

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Harris FamilyBy Allison Sargent

The Fishers Island Library has hired a new Program Director. Amy Harris accepted the position this past December, replacing Kelly Ramsey who held the job for three years. “I am really excited to work with Amy,” said E. B. Bartels, a library board member and head of the Programming Committee, “even though we had several candidates interested in the position, it became clear pretty quickly that Amy was the best person for the job.” The program director’s duties include coordinating and publicizing literary and cultural programs year round which might include booking an author for a summer reading or organizing a Christmas story night or ordering balloons to promote a professional story teller. The position’s varied demands don’t faze her. “My background is pretty eclectic,” she says, “but I have always been drawn to educational and arts-based kinds of jobs.” In addition to creating a vibrant summer program, Amy is particularly interested in organizing monthly get togethers for year round residents. “The library should be a big part of the community,” says Harris, “I am looking forward to getting people together.”

Amy has a long history with Fishers Island and understands the importance of strong community ties. “My mom, Patricia Griffin, was born and raised on the island,” says Amy, “in fact, she was the last baby to be born in the old fort hospital.” Her mother married Glen Norton whose parents lived on the island as well which meant that Amy grew up spending summers on Fishers with her grandmother Ione Norton. Amy’s island connections are further explained: “My mother’s father George Griffin worked here for a long time and my great aunt, Ann and her husband Steve Morell used to own the Pequot a long time ago.”

Harris-Family480x626Years later, when Amy and her husband Dirk were living in Indiana, they found themselves anxious to move back to the northeast. When Dirk took a job at BD Construction two years ago, they landed back on very familiar turf. “ I never imagined that I would be living here full time, “says Amy, “but since having children, this seemed the ideal place for us to be.” As an adult, she appreciates the advantages of a small town living. “I feel fortunate to have the chance to raise my kids in such a safe, tight-knit community, she says, “we are thrilled with the school and the thought of our kids continuing their education here.” Now that Amy’s seven-year-old twins are in school full time, she wanted an opportunity to get more involved in the community. The library position came along at exactly the right time.

One of her priorities is to create a monthly women’s group that can meet for a craft or games night. The children on the island are brainstorming as well. School principal Karen Goodwin polled students to find out what activities would bring them out on a cold winter’s night. “I want to be able to implement many of their ideas,” says Amy, “there are so many good ones!” The kids aren’t the only constituents Amy would like to hear from. She welcomes ideas for programming from all summer or winter residents. She can be reached at Amy Harris sums up her feelings about her new position this way:

“I love the library, I love books,” she says, “I am really looking forward to getting started.”

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