BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Susan Skitowski may be a new face at the Maumee Branch Library, but she is not a new face in the library system or even in the Maumee area.
The Monclova Township resident recently took over the duties of branch manager in Maumee, replacing former manager Allison Fiscus, who has been promoted to the position of adult services coordinator.
This is a lateral move for Skitowski, who has worked for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library system for 29 years. In February 2020, she became a regional manager based at the Kent branch, where she oversaw the Kent, Locke, Lagrange and Reynolds Corners branches. Her new role is essentially the same job; however, her home base is now Maumee, and she no longer oversees Kent, but she does continue to manage the Locke, Lagrange and Reynolds Corners branches in addition to Maumee.
“The community is somewhat new to me, but because I have been living in the area, it is not foreign,” she said. “I am definitely already a regular customer of the chocolate shop and Dale’s.”
While similarities exist within all branches of the library system, each branch has a unique set of characteristics that lend to its individuality.
“Maumee is unique in that it has more of an exact boundary of its own service area. It’s tucked in a neighborhood, so a lot of people walk or ride bikes to the library,” she said. “There are also a lot of readers in Maumee – there always has been, which makes for a lot of high usage and that is great.”
As new manager, her priority will be to cultivate bonds with the customers who frequent the branch as well as her fellow colleagues who work there.
“The No. 1 thing when you move to a new place as a new manager is to form relationships,” she said. “You don’t do anything before that – you don’t change anything.”
She will also work on developing the staff, suited to their strengths, by helping them grow and develop.
“I’m a real big advocate to put people on the right challenge that will benefit them and our community,” she said. “That’s my goal with a new team – it’s to make everyone as successful as possible on behalf of our customer.”
One constant element to the library system is that change is inevitable, and the staff is keenly aware of events taking place in the schools and in the community in order to adapt to meet specific needs.
“We have to find ways to respond, so definitely things will change, but not because I came,” she said.
Skitowski, 53, was born in the Old West End and has lived in West Toledo, Point Place, Old Orchard and Curtis.
“I claim the whole 419,” she said. “The region is what matters to me.”
She began working as a page at the Point Place branch in high school, then went on to earn her undergraduate degree in English from Kent State University and her master’s in library science from Indiana University. She worked in the fields of law and retail before joining the library system as a substitute librarian in 1994.