Manlius The Manlius Library has a new director – his name is Matt DeLaney, and he’s only one out of two male library directors in the Onondaga County Public Library system. Although he’s in the minority, he’s anxious for people to look past that and focus on his leadership and new opportunities and connections he hopes to bring to the library
DeLaney served as the director of the Tully Free Library for two years before he took his position in Manlius less than a month ago. He says he’s still in the process of exploring Manlius and wants to discover more about how the community works and what it needs before starting any new programs. He likes to tailor his programs specifically to each community he’s serving.
For example, in Tully, one of the most successful programs he created was a ‘virtual farmer’s market.’ Because Tully doesn’t have a grocery store, residents would often find themselves driving as far as Syracuse or Cortland to get their food. DeLaney transformed the community room at the library into a way for patrons to connect with local farmers.
“It was kind of a combination of a CSA and a farmer’s market,” he said. “Through the library’s website, people could see the 30 or so vendors and what that had listed – produce, meat, cheese, soap – everything local within 30 miles of Tully.”
And DeLaney said some of the most exciting things about working in Manlius are the pride that residents feel about the area and the fact that there is a lot of community involvement in the library already.
“After being here for just four weeks, it’s very apparent that there is a lot of pride in Manlius – through all the different businesses and organizations, people care about this, and as a public librarian, that’s a really exciting situation to walk into,” he said. “Embracing this idea that Manlius is a great place with a ton of great resources, my focus will be to find out what role the library plays in that.”