Keeping The Community Connected


James Hutter helps locals stay up to date on the latest technology 

By Paige McAtee

As the head of technology at the Westbury Memorial Public Library, James Hutter is responsible for overseeing all technology in the library. But he says the best part about his job is working with people and seeing first hand that he is changing their lives.

One way he does this is by giving one-on-one technology help to members of the community. These one-on-one technology sessions started about a year ago, and have become an extremely popular service.

James Hutter in the library's computer room
James Hutter in the library’s computer room

More and more people are coming into the library and asking questions on how to work new technology such as their tablet, e-book, smartphone, or laptop. Instead of going to a technology store that charges to give help, the library offers tech help as a free service.

“Last year we helped 230 people one-on-one, and this year so far, we’ve helped 129 people just in the first few months,” said Hutter.

This service is exclusive to Westbury and Carle Place patrons. Hutter and the rest of the technology staff are happy to meet with people for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to walk them through basic or complicated questions about their devices.

His main responsibility as head of technology is to make sure that all of the library’s technology needs are met. Hutter oversees the library computers and website, and helps the staff who use technology for everyday operations in the library.

“We also do staff training to make sure that they are up to date with the latest technology and trends,” added Hutter.

Hutter’s goal for the Westbury Public Library is to be at the cutting edge of technology, and be a leader to other libraries in Nassau County. Whether it’s the way the computer lab is set up, or loaning out E-readers to the public, Hutter wants Westbury’s library to set a good example.

The library is already well on its way to doing that through its unique customer service. There is always a member of the tech staff available to help or answer questions at Westbury. Some libraries have strict time limits on the computers, but Westbury has none. “We try to cater to what the public needs,” said Hutter. “We try to make it a nice experience for the people who come here and use the library.”

Hutter, a Carle Place resident, has been working as the head of technology at the Westbury Public Library for 12 years. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Information Management from SUNY Empire State College and recently received his Master’s Degree in Library Science from CUNY Queens College.

“I’ve got the technology background, and then I went into librarianship, and kind of merged the two together,” he explained.

He previously worked for the Oyster Bay Public Library where he got a bit of a reputation for knowing about computers, which was what led him to his job as Head of Technology at the Westbury Public Library.

When Hutter isn’t working, he likes to spend his time outdoors either hiking or camping. Although he uses technology 24/7, and likes to keep up with all of the latest technology trends, at the end of the day he also likes to take a break from it all.

Hutter and other members of the library’s technology department will demonstrate tablet and smartphone basics on Wednesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. at the library. Registration is required so call the library at 516-333-0176 for more information.

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