Staff & Volunteers

Jaclyn and lily 2

Jaclyn Savolainen
Library Director

Jaclyn is thrilled to be stepping into the role of Director of Starr Library. The director is responsible for day-to-day library operations, including purchasing books, helping patrons, overseeing staffing and programming, and working with the Board of Trustees to meet the public’s needs and plan for Starr’s future.

Most recently, Jaclyn served as Acting Director of Ritz Library at Dutchess Community College and as an instructional and reference librarian. She began her library career as a part-time adult programmer at Starr. Jaclyn is also a trustee on the Rhinebeck Board of Education.

Fulfilling almost all the stereotypes of a librarian, Jaclyn knits, collects cats (and a dog), and owns a lot of cardigans. She probably talks about her children too much.  


Brooke Stevens
Assistant Director & Children’s Librarian

Brooke Stevens joined the staff of Starr Library in 1998 as the part-time children’s programmer. Highlights of those early years involved the talents of many artists, entertainers, and educators who engaged Rhinebeck audiences with exotic animals, storytelling, puppetry, magic, music, and even a mime! Over time, Brooke took on the role of both Children’s Librarian and Assistant Director. She is happiest surrounded by books and steeped in the world of children’s literature. Outside of the library, you are most likely to find Brooke in the kitchen, listening to a favorite podcast or Spotify playlist while trying out a new recipe, or reading from a stack of new and vintage cookbooks, of which she owns way too many!

Michelle Montalbano
Program Director

Michelle is a librarian, writer, and editor who spent the past five years at Brooklyn Public Library. At the Center for Brooklyn History, she led workshops on archival research and provided reference services, as well as curating programming and exhibitions on Brooklyn food history, plant life and green spaces, and more. Prior to that, she was a librarian in the neighborhood of Red Hook, where she also helped organize mutual aid and played softball. Her work focuses on place-based history, foodways, and environmental and social justice. She loves showing her senses a good time.

Rowan Willigan
Graphic/Creative Designer,
Webmaster & Cataloguer

Rowan first started working at Starr shelving books when she was 15, and now, 10+ years later, is in charge of creating modern and engaging  marketing materials for the library’s  programs and announcements. Rowan adores the environment at Starr, and loves that she can interact with Rhinebeck’s kind community. Additionally, Rowan is a visual artist, muralist, and a photographer. You can learn more about Rowan here.  Born in the Hudson Valley, she loves exploring eateries and breweries during her free time, as well as taking walks at Poet’s Walk. Rowan’s favorite genre of books to check out from the library is cookbooks!

Dagmar Yaddow
Office Manager

Dagmar has been a part of Starr since the early 1990s, beginning as a volunteer in our 1975 building and moving with us into the 2005 extension. She is Starr’s Office Manager. Dagmar is also a longtime member of Friends of Starr Library and has curated and hung their annual art show, which serves as a fundraiser. She assists with the many book sales that the Friends have every year. In her free time, Dagmar reads nonfiction books and just finished one on Iceland.


Katy Kollar
Circulation Desk Staff

Katy Kollar and her family moved to Rhinebeck in 2014.  A graduate of Manhattan College, she spent a year volunteering at a women’s shelter in Sitka, AK with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. After taking time out to raise her three children, she started and ran a successful small business for six years on Long Island before moving permanently up to the Hudson Valley. 
Katy is also an active advocate for her autistic son Owen, and has served as a trustee of the Anderson Center for Autism, including President of Anderson Family Partners. 
She and her husband Kevin have two other children, Cameron and Grace, and enjoy traveling, reading, and skiing in the Catskills. 

Christine Livesey
Circulation Desk Staff

Christine Livesey and her husband Alex moved to Rhinebeck 20 years ago, where she’s since raised two amazing children. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and Filmmaking from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master’s in Education, and taught art and film for 12 years on Long Island. When she’s not working at Starr Library, she’s teaching Film and Acting at Dutchess Community College, working on printmaking, watching old movies, and traveling with her husband.

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Laila Watts
Circulation Desk Staff

Laila is a recent addition to the Starr Library circulation staff and is excited to meet the locals of Rhinebeck. She has worked in the Poughkeepsie Public Library District at Adriance Memorial Library and Boardman Road Library for a little over three years. Laila is a Poughkeepsie native and resident and is currently studying Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. Outside of work and college; Laila enjoys ballet, playing with her kitty Giselle(Gigi), singing, and of course reading books.

Paris' Profile Photo

Paris Newmaster
Circulation Desk Staff

Paris recently earned her Master’s degree in English literature from SUNY New Paltz and finds herself feeling right at home in Starr Library. Being an avid reader, she has a love for all books, but is particularly drawn to literature in translation. Much of Paris’ independent research involves investigating the nature of being in nonhumans and objects, most recently in Paru Itagaki’s series Beastars. When not at Starr Library, you can either find Paris enjoying all that nature has to offer, or spending time with her two cats Man Man and Taki. She is also currently learning German and has plans to travel extensively overseas in the near future.


Linda Blackwell
Mary Burns
Chris Guiney
Janet Kettler
Connie Lown

Debbie Hecht
Robert Strickstein

Skip to content