Class of 1962
Roslyn library head keeps up with times
October 29, 2011 by Ann Luk / Special to Newsday
Cathy Mealing, director of the Bryant Library in Roslyn, owns a Kindle, a Nook, a Zune, an iPod, an iPad and an iPhone.
“My family calls me a tech nut,” Mealing, 67, said with a laugh, “Everyone I know keeps asking me when I’m going to get the new iPhone 4s.”
Her passion for technology has spread to her work, as she progresses the Bryant Library experience for her community. She convinced the library’s board to buy computers and then install Wi-Fi before many people knew what Wi-Fi was. Since then, the number of computers has grown, as has the number of patrons using them.
The library is now embarking on a radio frequency identification system as part of a pilot program in only six libraries in Nassau County. It will create faster checkout times for patrons with self-checkout stations, and improve the security and quality of materials offered, Mealing said.
“We started to tag our collections in August 2011. We have spent the last 14 months tagging our books and audiovisual items such as CDROMs, DVDs, music CDs, etc.,” Mealing said.
Much has changed since she started working in libraries 50 years ago. Mealing has had an interest in the library system for as long as she can remember. In 1957, her family moved right behind the Glen Cove Library, where she would read books with her sister every day.
“We just loved it. We read everything we could get our hands on,” Mealing said. “We just loved the environment. It was a place we could spread out and study.”
In 1963, she was offered a position as a library page at Glen Cove Library. During her 25 years there, she also served as a clerk, a senior library clerk, a principal library clerk and a CLSI (Computer Library Sciences Inc.) coordinator, training and supervising the staff on technical services.
In 1988, she was hired as head of technical services and CLSI coordinator at Bryant Library. Three years later, she became the assistant director, and then director in 2006.
“Cathy has been a driving force at the Bryant Library since she started,” said Joan Sauer, assistant director of the Bryant Library, who has worked with Mealing since she arrived.
While working full-time at the library and raising her children, Mealing earned an associate’s degree in English from Nassau Community College, as well as a bachelor’s in sociology and a master’s in library and information science from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University in Brookville.
Mealing has two children and three grandchildren. In her free time, she helps her family sell their old phones and unused items on eBay. She also listens to audiobooks, reads books on her iPad and Zune device, and listens to music on her iPod.
“I do like rap, some of it,” Mealing said. “Jay Z’s new one—I have to make that my ring tone.”
Mealing’s ability to keep up with the times has helped her gain recognition in the village over the years. In the summer of 2010, she became co-president of the Rotary Club of Roslyn. On Oct. 12, the club honored her at its fundraising dinner.
“They said so many good things about me now,” Mealing said, “I wonder what they’re going to say when I retire.”
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