Great Neck Library getting an interim assistant director

Great Neck Library getting an interim assistant director
Interim Library Director Tracy Geiser, as seen at a previous board meeting, will be working with an interim assistant director starting Oct. 1. (Photo by Janelle Clausen)

The Great Neck Library Board of Trustees agreed on Tuesday night to appoint an interim assistant library director effective Oct. 1, which will fill a vacancy that began in the spring.

The library board voted to terminate Kathy Giotsas, the library director, on April 28. Since then Tracy Geiser, who was the assistant library director, has been serving as the interim library director.

The board said it would appoint Irina Zaionts as the interim assistant library director and that she would start Oct. 1 at a salary of $80,000 per year.

Zaionts has worked in the library for about 20 years, Geiser said, effectively being the “second-in-command” of the adult reference section with Margery Chodosch.

“She’ll be helping out running the branches,” Geiser said. “She’ll be a little more one on one with them now, so I’m looking forward to having her in.”

Both the interim director and assistant director will remain in that position until a permanent replacement can be found.

The library board also approved the appointment of Marianna Wohlgemuth, a New Hyde Park-based civic activist currently serving on the Director Search Committee, to fill the vacated Nominating Committee seat of Omer Soykan.

Wohlgemuth is the sister of Marietta DiCamillo, a library board trustee. Both of their terms will expire in January.

Soykan had resigned to seek a trustee position vacated when the Board of Trustees voted to remove Douglas Hwee from the library board for alleged misconduct. The board has not described the alleged misconduct.

Soykan will be interviewed by the Nominating Committee for the vacancy.

Earlier this year, the Nominating Committee selected Weihua Yan to run for the expiring seat of Marietta DiCamillo and Dr. Barry Smith to run for the expiring seat of Michael Fuller. Their terms would last from January 2018 to 2022.

Trustees also reported progress on the installation of an RFID system, which would tag each of the library’s items that can be taken out and serve as a security system.

Hwee asked if trustees would then know how many books were discarded during the main library renovations between 2014 and 2016.

Trustee Michael Fuller said that since they did not have a set figure on how many books the library had then, it is an “almost impossible number to determine.”

“We understand that a lot of people, ourselves included, recognize that a lot of stuff walked out of here that shouldn’t, but we can’t go back in time, so we’re concentrating on going forward and knowing what we have,” Fuller said.

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