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Yorktown Native Named New Director at Peekskill Library

Laura Wolven is the new director at the Field Library in Peekskill. She grew up in Yorktown. (Photo provided)
Laura Wolven is the new director at the Field Library in Peekskill. She grew up in Yorktown. (Photo provided)
By Ashley Tarr:

A Yorktown native has been named the new director at The Field Library in Peekskill.

Laura Wolven, who previously worked in the children's department at Spring Valley's Finkelstein Memorial Library in Rockland County, started just about a month ago. After seeing the job listing online twice, she knew she wanted to apply.

"The second time I said 'It has to be a sign,'" Wolven told Patch. She grew up in Yorktown and lives in Orange County. "I love this area so much."

Wolven is excited to be in "such a vibrant" area. She is getting to know local folks, and the "wonderful staff" at the library.

"Right now I'm trying to see how everything runs here and what the community seems to want from the library," she said, adding that she is looking forward to enjoying art exhibits at the Field Gallery

Wolven is confident in her ability to oversee the library, as the budget and staff for Finklestein Memorial's children's department alone is comparable to the overall budget and staff for the Field. She was there for nine years.

When asked about possible changes or additions she's considering, Wolven said she is still getting to know the library's patrons. They are residents of Cortlandt and Peekskill.

"Some things that work in some areas won't work as well in others," she said. "You definitely have to feel out your community before you just start implementing things."

Wolven is Sibyl Canaan's sucessor. Canaan served as director since 1992. She retired Nov. 11. 

During her time Canaan established a yearly public vote on the budget increase, expanded the children's reading room and the local history room, incorporated e-books, launched an art gallery, organized events with a host of artists, community leaders and writers and secured grants for improvements and renovations. She also oversaw the library's book store.

Canaan said she will remain active in the Peekskill community as a member and past president of the Peekskill Rotary Club. She is also a board member of the Lincoln Depot Foundation and Lincoln Society. Her fondest memories, she told Patch, were the library's yearlong 125th anniversary events in 2012.

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