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Library Director Contrata Lives in a Book World

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – Even though Eugenie Contrata spends her days around books as the Greenburgh Public Library's director, she still indulges in technology from time to time. But as her profession suggests, she keeps her technology wrapped in literature.

"I hate to admit this as a librarian but I do have a kindle and I do like to read books on it!" Contrata said. "I bought it about three years ago, and I love it. I love the convenience of downloading books in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. And I just bought one for my sister and she's addicted to it."

Contrata started her journey in the Westchester County library world at 15, when she worked as a book page in Harrison. From there, she went to the children's room, where she learned every child's name.

"I had my own universe there," said Contrata. "I still can remember where some books go. I can picture it in my mind. Like where the books on monsters go. They were orange and black, and they were always being borrowed."

Now, the original 1968 cornerstone of the Greenburgh Public Library sits in the corner of Contrata's office. It symbolizes how far the library has come in its expansion and efforts to serve its customers.

"What I like about Greenburgh is the diversity," said Contrata, director since 2007. "I like that a lot. It's interesting."

Regardless of her progress to develop the library, Contrata continues with an agenda to keep the library moving forward.

"I don't feel like I've finished my job here," she said. "I don't feel like my job's complete."

Some of her plans are to increase the library's budget, create a homebound delivery system, open a storefront library in Hartsdale and reinstate the book drop system.

After graduating from the College of New Rochelle in 1988, Contrata attended the University of Albany, receiving her Master's degree in Library Information and Science in 1990. She then earned a job at the New Rochelle Library, before changing to Greenburgh's Library in 1992.

Her Tibetan spaniel, Emma, was adopted in 2000 when she was a puppy. Contrata's "little girl" will turn 11 yearso ld on August 1. Also, when Contrata's arthritis does not hurt, she enjoys knitting.

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