Meet Casanovia Public Library’s new director – Eagle News Online

CAZENOVIA — In March 2022, Alyssa Ali took over as director of the Casanovia Public Library & Museum (CPL) following the retirement of Betsy Kennedy, who led the library since 1983 and served on its staff since 1979.

Ali, who worked at CPL previously, has rejoined the institution after serving multiple libraries over the last several years.

“The Casanovia Public Library Board of Trustees is happy to welcome Alyssa Ali back to the library as its new director,” said Kaleb Wilson, president of the board. . . . Her experiences and professional growth will be instrumental in leading the library out of the pandemic and into the rest of this decade and beyond. Her institutional and industry knowledge will be imperative to the library’s mission during this transition time. She has already started the process of enacting her vision and there will be exciting changes coming over the next several months. I invite the public to stop by and introduce yourself to Alyssa if you have not yet.”

Ali, who grew up in Canastota, said her first job was shelving books as a page at the Canastota Public Library.

She worked at the library all through college and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Le Moyne.

“At the time, I wanted to be a forensic pathologist,” Ali recalled. “I had to make a choice for grad school — [either] go for science and stop working at the library or go get a master’s in library science.”

She ultimately decides to pursue a master’s degree in library and information science from the Syracuse University School of Information Studies.

Ali continued working at Canastota Public Library and eventually got a job as assistant director of CPL, where she worked for five years before being appointed head librarian at Bryant & Stratton College in Syracuse.

Ali then served as a youth services librarian at the Manlius Library until her husband’s job brought her to Oregon for a year.

After the couple returned to the area in April 2020, Ali took over as director of the Maxwell Memorial Library in Camillus.

When Kennedy announced her retirement from CPL, Ali was unsure of whether she wanted to apply for the position.

“I loved Maxwell and felt I had many projects I’d started [and] wanted to see through,” she said. “I decided to apply because I loved working here so much, I love the staff, and the community as a whole. It felt right to try and come back so I could be a part of that again. Cazenovia is so different from other libraries I’ve worked in; what other library has a museum, a mummy, an archive, an art gallery, tutoring, and so much more all in one?”

Ali returned to CPL on March 14, 2022 and worked with Kennedy until her official retirement on March 17.

“It was lovely catching up with her and seeing firsthand all the library has accomplished since I was the last part of it,” Ali said.

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