As its new director, Marcia Austin is looking toward library branch's future in Shelton

Marcia Austin wants to share Shelton’s “best kept secret.”

As the new director of the Huntington Branch Library, longtime Shelton resident Austin is excited for her position.

It’s not a new position for her, per se, but it’s official. She has been interim branch director since July 2013, after Shawn Fields.

“The Huntington Branch is what’s called a popular collections library,” said Austin. “It’s more of a meeting place. It’s a bit louder and more relaxed” than Plumb Memorial Library.

That’s not a bad thing, however, Austin said the two complement one another.

Plumb has “a reference area and a reference librarian,” she said. “It’s definitely more of a traditional library.”

Austin has a bachelor’s in music education from Western Connecticut State University, and a master’s in library science from Clarion University.

She has lived in Shelton for nearly 30 years, and has worked at the Shelton assessor’s office and Plumb Memorial Library, to name a few.

“Moving forward we both want to offer comfortable, attractive and friendly spaces for people to find information and assistance,” said Elspeth Lydon, director at the Shelton Library System at Plumb. “We look forward to welcoming old friends and meeting new ones when folks visit the Shelton libraries.”

When Austin was hired as the Huntington Branch family services librarian in 1999, she was first tasked to care for the library’s snake Peaches.

Following standard testing required by the city’s merit system, Austin was selected from a pool of more than 20 candidates. She was named the branch director on June 19, with the official announcement coming July 29.

Since Fields left in 2013, there have been spots that needed to be filled.

Austin hopes once staffing gets to where it should be, she can focus on getting new computers on the floor (right now they’re in boxes waiting for someone to hook them up properly).

“There are always things that are going to need doing,” said Austin. "Ideally libraries should be able to offer … very very current trends. The faster we could provide the service, we’re doing our jobs better. You can't have everything you want. We've come a long way in having better Internet service,” she said.