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Long IslandTowns

Levittown people: Celeste Watman

Celeste Watman is the director of the Levittown

Celeste Watman is the director of the Levittown Public Library. (March 13, 2012) Credit: Erin Geismar

Throughout this week's Town Focus series in Levittown, we are profiling people we meet, from community leaders to residents we bump into around town.

Celeste Watman
Director of the Levittown Public Library

How long have you been with the library?
More than seven years now as director.

Did you hold another position prior to that or were you at another library?
I was at the Hicksville library for 17 ½ years.

What were your first impressions of the Levittown community?
It was very much like Hicksville. There wasn’t a substantial difference in the demographic.

What does the library mean to this community? How do they use it?
The computer labs are very, very popular. We see heavy usage there. We started loaning out e-readers -- each one comes with 25 titles. They have become quite popular so we’re working on developing learning applications for the e-reader -- in particular, geared toward special needs populations.

Which community programs are the most popular?
Defensive driving, which we offer year round, is very popular. The exercise programs are very popular -- we can never have enough of them. We also show films, which can draw a big crowd depending on the title. Musical programs and children’s story time are other big ones.
I like to introduce new things to the community, big, annual events. We’ve had a museum day, where museums from around Long Island came here and set up booths. And a Harry Potter Day.

The library has a local history department. Do you find that people are interested in that?
Here’s something I find gratifying: We have a public telephone downstairs around the corner from our offices and it was a very plain section of the library. We used photos from our local history collection and posted them around that hallway and now people are intrigued by them. They call their friends over and people come here specifically to see those photos. I hear people saying, ‘Remember when?’

I think that Levittowners are quite proud of their history.

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