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Library Board welcomes two new trustees

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Shelter Island Public Library
REPORTER FILE PHOTO | The Shelter Island Public Library

The Shelter Island Public Library Society’s governing board has two new members, Brett James and Linda Kraus.

The new trustees were voted onto the 13 member Board of Trustees during the library’s annual meeting in January. Ms. James will fill the year remaining in the three-year term vacated by Cori Cass, who, because of many other obligations, was unable to attend meetings regularly and resigned.

Ms. Kraus was elected to a full term, taking the seat that was occupied by Phyllis Gates, who was up against the board’s term limit after nine years of service. The library has posted profiles of the new trustees at silibrary.org.

Ms. James was born and raised in Miami, Florida and moved to New York City in 1977. For 37 years she worked at the accounting and consulting firm of Richard A Eisner & Co. (later EisnerAmper LLP). She became the chief financial officer, was a member of the company’s Executive Committee and was directly involved in the national expansion of the firm.

She headed the Technology Committee, the Finance Committee and was an active participant in the EisnerAmper Women’s Initiative, whose goal was to retain women in management positions. A graduate of New York University’s Stern School of Business, Ms. James brings a depth of knowledge of financial and general management to the board.
Ms. James and her husband Eric first came to Shelter Island in 1987 and two years later made the Island their summer home. In 1999 they purchased a home in Hay Beach. Their children spent summers on Shelter Island (until they became adults with real jobs), and the family spends most holidays on the Island.

A lifelong reader, Ms. James started visiting the Shelter Island Library regularly. In her profile, she says her appreciation of the library grew more with each visit. She found that not only was the library well stocked with very good literature but that it provided a vital outreach to the community. When the trustee position was announced, she eagerly applied.

Ms. James is also a member of the board and treasurer of her Manhattan co-op. She spends her time between New York City and Shelter Island.

Linda Kraus came to Shelter Island in 1976 when she married her husband Chuck. She says she came to know and love the community through working at the family business, the Kraus Crescent Beach Restaurant and Motel.

The couple raised three children, Janelle, Amanda and Patrick — all Shelter Island High School graduates who have gone on to have their own careers and families but return frequently. They are now excited to share this special place with their grandchildren, Josephine, Sloane and Rhys.

Ms. Kraus says she saw early on how members of the Island community thrive, encourage and support one another through organizations and programs. A member of the Lions Club, she has volunteered at St. Gabriel’s, the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce, the Fire Department and on Shelter Island Emergency Medical Services teams (as secretary and EMT). She also has served as the RN medical coordinator for the Shelter Island 10K race.

Ms. Kraus earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Stony Brook University. She has been a registered nurse at Eastern Long Island Hospital for over 28 years. Linda has been honored by the Town of Southold-Greenport Rotary Club as the 2010 recipient of the Laura Goodale Award for Nursing Excellence and the 2005 Nursing Preceptor Award from 1199  National Benefit.

Ms. Kraus says she considers the Shelter Island Public Library to be part of the lifeblood of this Island. Along with participating and enjoying the many programs, she has watched the library evolve over the years, striving to provide current and varied services.

“The library is a safe haven for learning and sharing for both young and old alike,” Ms. Kraus said.