The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 2, 2009


New librarian looks forward to working with ‘tweens and teens’

“I’m one of those people who essentially grew up in a library,” Cassandra Malik recently observed. The newest addition to the staff at the Gleason Public Library said that throughout her childhood she spent hours at the library in her hometown of Northbrook, Illinois, reading books and learning from the wisdom of the librarians there.


Cassandra Malik. (Photo by Ellen Huber)

Now, she looks forward to bringing her own expertise to Carlisle’s library patrons, especially those in the “tweens and teens” demographic. Malik has replaced Erica Wing as Gleason’s teen librarian, and will be working with the TOGA (Teens of Gleason Advisors) program on designing events and get-togethers of particular interest to middle schoolers.

Boning up on the subject presented no problem to Malik, who loves books of all kinds but says that young adult fiction, intended for a middle school or young teen audience, holds a special place in her heart. “I like fantasy and adventure books for teens,” she said. “I try to read a little of everything, just so when someone asks me for a suggestion, I can give them a wide range. It’s very rewarding for a librarian to have the experience of recommending something that someone likes so much they then ask you for a follow-up recommendation.”

Not surprisingly, Malik reads for pleasure as well as for work; her preferences in adult literature cover the spectrum, from historical novels to mysteries to nonfiction. A dog lover, she enjoys memoirs by animal owners as well.

Malik attended college and graduate school in Illinois, then came east because several of her friends had settled here and seemed happy. Though her first Massachusetts job was at Northern Essex Community College’s library reference desk, she was eager to make the move into the public library scene. “This area has a great, regionally supported system, in part because the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners does such a good job,” she commented.

Currently, Malik pairs her part-time role in Carlisle with a similar one in Winchester. “Now that I’m settling in here, I’m hoping to meet more people in the library community, especially teens,” she said.

© 2009 The Carlisle Mosquito