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APL Names New Executive Director

May 24, 2022 | Library News

The Albany Public Library Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Andrea Nicolay as the organization’s new executive director at a special meeting on May 24.

Nicolay currently serves as director of libraries in the town of Arlington, Mass. She will start at APL on August 1. Nicolay replaces Scott C. Jarzombek, who left the library in October 2021 to take a position out of state. Melanie Metzger, the library’s assistant director, has been serving as interim director.

“The board is excited to have Andrea lead Albany Public Library as our next executive director,” said Board President Sarah Shearer. “As a seasoned library director, Andrea is a relatable and compassionate leader with experience serving diverse communities. Her vision for the future of libraries paired with her collaborative nature is a perfect fit for Albany Public Library.”

In her own words, Nicolay “recognizes the value of core services and also sees the library as a nimble organization with the power to impact the overall well-being of a community,” and is committed to “innovative, community-first library services.” During her tenure in Arlington, she promoted equity and eliminated barriers of access to library patrons, including abolishing overdue fines and fees. She also advanced innovative programs for vulnerable populations in the town, which included providing regular monthly social worker hours at the Arlington library in partnership with a local housing coalition.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Albany Public Library as executive director and I thank the Board of Trustees for this opportunity,” Nicolay said. “I believe this is an incredibly exciting time for public libraries. We’re about creating connections, promoting equity, and providing access to critical resources, and I look forward to supporting the APL staff as we carry on this transformative work for the community we serve.”

During her seven years as director of the Arlington libraries, Nicolay supervised a staff of 40 across two facilities and achieved strategic goals including eliminating fines, restoring and adding staff positions, and guiding the library budget through the town government approval process. Nicolay began her public library career at New York Public Library where she focused on community outreach, programming, and management at three different branches over six years.

Nicolay earned a bachelor’s degree in English from College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in library science from Queens College Graduate School of Library & Information Studies. She holds a New York State Public Librarian Certification.

Stephanie Simon

Stephanie Simon is manager of APL's Communication and Creative Services Department, which provides content and information for the library's website, social media, publications, videos, podcasts, and other outlets. Stephanie also manages APL's public relations and marketing efforts.