Augusta Turner named new director of Town of Pelham Public Library

Augusta Turner has been appointed the new director of the Town of Pelham Public Library after Patricia Perito retired last year. Turner was formerly the adult services librarian and has worked at the library since 2014.

Turner has a BA in journalism from the University of Southern California, as well as a master’s in library science from Queens College. She worked at the Los Angeles Herald for eight years before moving to Pelham.

“When I moved to Pelham in 1995 with my husband and four children, I stayed at home to care for my family,” said Turner. “As the kids grew older, I started thinking about going back to work. What I enjoyed most about being a reporter was interviewing people, the research and the writing. I also love to read, so being a librarian seemed like a good fit.”

Turner said she looks forward to the library partnering with local organizations and introducing families who are new to Pelham to the programs and materials offered. She said she enjoys getting to know the patrons of the library as she works to supervise the operations and the budget of the library.

“It is always rewarding when you recommend a book to a patron and they come back to tell you how much they enjoyed (or disliked) the book, and the reasons why,” she said.

The new director said she finds Pelham’s commitment to the library striking. The library’s creation was funded by Pelham residents, and it is still being supported by the Friends of the Town of Pelham Public Library and Novel Night, as well as the Town of Pelham government.

Her new role will not be without its challenges. The pandemic forced the library to rely more on virtual options, as well as e-books and e-movies, which are now being incorporated into a post-pandemic library. Turner said she wants to ensure that the library is still reaching as many people as possible with these changes.

Turner said the most important function of a library is to stop the spread of misinformation. “There is so much misinformation being circulated by word of mouth and on the internet today,” she said. “One of our most important functions is to provide the public with free access to unbiased and accurate information and services reflecting diverse points of view, so that our patrons can educate themselves and make their own informed decisions.”