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New Manager at Potomac Library

Nancy Savas has librarian roots reaching to her childhood.

Potomac Library Manager Nancy Savas

Potomac Library Manager Nancy Savas Photo by Susan Belford.

— Nancy Savas, the new Potomac Library manager comes to her new position with a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and knowledge. As a second grade student, Nancy Savas loved to read; her favorite place was the school library where she helped the librarian by stamping books as they were checked out.

Throughout her school years, she volunteered and worked part-time in the library in her hometowns of Brooklyn and Long Island, N.Y. The library did not possess a typewriter and labels did not exist. Her handwriting was so exacting and exceptionally legible that she was chosen to hand write the card-catalog note cards and to use a stylus to transfer check-out information onto the spines of the books. Savas spent many happy childhood hours in these libraries — and thus chose to follow her passion to become a librarian.

She never suspected that her degree in library science would take her from New York to Iowa to Maryland — and would offer her chances to travel, meet people from all over the world — and make use of all of her talents, interests and skills.

Savas arrived at the Potomac Library two weeks ago — and is looking forward to becoming a part of the Potomac community. Her professional career began in New York City’s Public Library System where, as a young librarian, she was intrigued by technology — and excited by the brand-new “Internet” and “World Wide Web.”

After she gained expertise in this new field, she was offered a position with a computer company to establish and design their new corporate library. However, this meant a move away from family and friends to the Tri-State area of Iowa. With her 16-year-old daughter cheering her on, they relocated to Sioux City, Iowa where she worked for six years. When the company went into bankruptcy, she moved back to New York and decided to re-enter public library service. But, in 2002, library jobs beyond entry-level positions were difficult to find. Finally, she located one in Waldorf, Md. at P.D. Brown Memorial Library. Her sister had lived in Waldorf at one time, so she was familiar with the region. She remained there for 22 months — but then a job with Montgomery County Public Libraries in Aspen Hill opened up. She moved to Olney, remained at the Aspen Hill Library for almost four years, then on to Germantown — and now she will manage the Potomac Library.

She is thrilled with her new position: “I look forward to participating in the Potomac Garden Club as I did with the Aspen Hill Garden Club. I also envision developing a Discovery Center for small children. I want to fill it with educational books and toys to support early literacy. It would be a place for parents or caretakers to spend quality time with their children and to introduce them to the world of reading.”

“Since I have only been here for two weeks, I won’t be making any major changes. The library runs well, thanks to former manager Lindsey Hundt (now at the Rockville Library) and the terrific staff.”

Times have changed — and libraries have transitioned from primarily lending books and providing research information in the form of hard copies to collections which include everything from books and periodicals to CDs, videotapes, DVDs, e-books, audio books, databases, microform, manuscripts and more.

Technology has changed the operations of the library, as well as the duties of the librarian. According to Savas, “Libraries will evolve with the changes in the world. They will always be an important and relevant part of our lives. Reading is essential — whether you read a newspaper, a book, an iPad or a computer screen.”

“Potomac is a busy library, and I’m pleased that so many residents take advantage of the many opportunities here.” She cited many of the upcoming activities at the Potomac Library. “We have monthly author talks, story times for children, ‘Great Decisions’ discussions, monthly book sales, and special events such as the upcoming Chinese New Year Festival. In the future, I would like to offer a class to explain the best use of electronic tablets — and a class in knitting, since I am an enthusiastic knitter.”

Savas is a prolific reader who loves a good mystery and a well-written romantic novel. She also likes adventure stories and novels about the sea.