A New Hire Full of Ideas for Montauk Library

Jacqueline Bitonti is the new children’s librarian at the Montauk Library and has many programming ideas for the hamlet’s young people. Janis Hewitt

Jacqueline Bitonti, the new children’s librarian at the Montauk Library, is bursting with energy and full of ideas for the hamlet’s children and teenagers, a group she would like to get more involved with the library.

With just one week on the job, she said on Tuesday that she has noticed the first thing children do when they enter the children’s section is go right to the pint-sized computer station directly across from her desk. With that in mind, she is looking to add more digital experiences for the little ones, especially during story time.

An animal lover, especially of dogs, she wants to engage the children by talking and reading about their pets. She would like to invite members of the service-dog community to the hamlet to discuss with the children guide-dog programs.

At 28 years old, she already has a lengthy résumé under her belt that includes working with the New York State attorney general’s office as a consumer fraud mediator. She has also worked with the Suffolk Cooperative Library System in member services and as a special projects coordinator. Until recently, she was a part-time substitute children’s librarian at the North Babylon Library and worked last summer as a part-time youth services librarian in the Huntington Library. She has also been a book discussion moderator at various libraries on Long Island.

Before she was hired in Montauk, Ms. Bitonti was a reference librarian at the Callahan Library at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. She lives in Ronkonkoma but hopes to find a new place closer to Montauk soon.

She is hoping to meet with teenagers and get ideas from them about how to make the library a more inviting place. “If it’s something they’re interested in, someone else will also be interested,” she said, adding that she would be open to staging a pop-up library at a beach.

When school starts, she plans to meet with the Montauk School librarian and see if they can coordinate on interactive programs.

On Tuesday, Denise DiPaolo, the library’s director, popped in to say hello to a visitor who was talking to Ms. Bitonti. “She’s a gem,” Ms. DiPaolo said. “She’s got a lot of good ideas.”

Ms. Bitonti said she really can’t wait to see what the fall and winter bring when she has a chance to spend more time with the children, who she (correctly) surmised are now spending their days at the beach instead of the library.