In 1985, Laura LaSita landed a job as the head of the children’s department at Riverhead Free Library. The hiring would change her life for the better as she worked her way through different positions at the library.
“I grew up in New Jersey,” she recalled as she sat in a spacious conference room at the library. “I moved out here that April. I was looking for a job. I had a library degree as well as a master’s degree, and the job was full-time and I loved it from the beginning.”
This month, Ms. LaSita will retire after 36 years in a career with a library where she said she has thrived. Library director Kerrie McMullen-Smith concurred.
“Laura has covered so many areas here over the years it will be very hard to replace her,” she said. “So different people will fill in on the areas she covered so well. So many people got to meet her in the various groups that came in; they all loved her.”
Ms. LaSita’s resume shows she has worked in the children’s department, run adult programs, teen programs, overseen the reference section, written the newsletter and handled other chores. For more than three decades, she has also managed a program called Senior Singles and since 2015 has been a member of Riverhead Town’s Senior Advisory Council.
“I’ve been leading Senior Singles for about 34 years,” she said. “We have had potluck dinners with motivational speakers and language teachers and it’s been a huge success. I will continue to work with that group, I love that so much.”
The best of what Ms. LaSita managed and helped grow over her career will continue, said Ms. McMullen-Smith. “We will miss her. You don’t know how involved someone was until they leave. Laura has been a very dedicated employee.”
“I loved the work and the feeling of being in this library,” Ms. LaSita added. “Coming out here, getting that first job, finding a career in this library – everything worked out great.”