After a nearly two-month-long search for a new director, the board of trustees at the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library in East Setauket has formally named Ted Gutmann its new director.
Gutmann, who has served as the library's assistant director for computer systems and services since 2004, was named acting director in September following the retirement of longtime director Ed Elenausky. Gutmann's role became effective at noon on Thursday, when he received the news from board president Fred Bryant.
"As a board, we're delighted," Bryant said. "We feel we have the best person for the job...the fact that he was right there in our own backyard makes it even better."
Gutmann, who lives in Village of the Branch with his wife Carol and five children, has a background in technology which Bryant said the board strongly admired.
"We feel that library technology is the big wave, and that it's happening so rapidly," Bryant said. "That's his field. Ted will keep us on the cutting edge."
Gutmann has a Bachelor's degree in mathematics from Dowling College and a Master's in library science from Queens College. He began his library career in the early 1990s teaching computer classes at libraries, and has served as a systems analyst for the Health Sciences Library at Stony Brook University and as a computer systems administrator at the Port Jefferson Free Library.
"We're kind of at an interesting point in terms of our role and the materials we provide," Gutmann said. "Books have always been the focus, but...I do feel the traditional media right now is being replaced by electronic media."
As an example, he pointed to the evolution of library music collections from records to cassette tapes to CDs to digital music. Similar transitions are happening elsewhere in the library's collection, particularly with e-books.
"It took a long time for them to get some traction, but I think the library needs to be ready for these changes," he said.
Gutmann said he has no immediate plans for major changes at Emma S. Clark, which was recently ranked the No. 1 library in Suffolk County.
"We seem to be doing pretty good right now in terms of support and feedback and usage," he said.