The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 12, 2010


The Gleason Public Library welcomes two new staff members

Childrens’ Librarian Milissa Fellers. (Photo by Jane Hamilton)

If you see a friendly new face at the Reference Desk at Gleason Public Library, you may be meeting the library’s new Teen Librarian, Jennifer Barnes, who began working there in September. Jenn joins another recent hire, Milissa Fellers, who began work in the Children’s section in March, 2010.

“They both work on collection development: what books we select and add to our collection,” Library Director Angela Mollet said. “Another big part of their job is covering the Reference Desk. They’re both very knowledgeable about our databases and electronic resources.”

“Jenn has a unique job because she’s working here 20 hours a week and she’s working at the high school 20 hours a week,” Mollet went on to explain.

“We hired Jenn cooperatively with the high school (Concord-Carlisle High School),” Mollet continued. “It just so happened that Robin Chicchetti, who’s their librarian, and I had an opening at the same time and we were looking for candidates with the same qualifications, so we sought and interviewed candidates at the same time.”

“It’s a huge advantage for both of our libraries,” Mollet said. “We can gain a lot from seeing what’s going on there and Jenn can also connect our middle schoolers to the high school when they get there.”

Barnes is responsible for the teen collections and programming. “Our definition of a teen is a little broader than most; it’s fifth grade through high school,” Mollet explained.

Barnes graduated from the University of Chicago and received her Master’s Degree from Simmons College. Originally from Sturbridge, Massachusetts, she is enjoying being back on the east coast after working as a young adult librarian in the children’s department of the Homewood Public Library just south of Chicago.

She talks enthusiastically about the two components of her job. “They’re so different! The high school is a very busy environment and nonstop action. Here you really have time to work with a patron for a while, if need be. It’s a community-oriented job. Here I’m doing more planning and preparation, there [I’m] on the go, doing projects.”

“Every month I meet with the Teens of Gleason Advisors (TOGA) group,” Barnes continued. “It’s for grades five through eight. They help with planning library programs for their group. I really want the teens to be involved in planning what they want to do.”

Teen Librarian Jennifer Barnes. (Photo by Jane Hamilton)

Barnes is also a member of the Best Fiction for Young Adults (BFYA) Committee, which endorses fiction titles published in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18. “I’m one of 15 librarians across the country involved in Best Fiction for Young Adults,” she said. “I’m trying to read a book a day, something like 360 books a year.”

Melissa Fellers also covers the reference desk, She is also responsible for children’s programming such as Story Hour, book groups and the summer reading program.

Fellers recently completed her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Sciences at Simmons College. “When we moved here in 2005, I decided to go back and get my Masters in Library Sciences because that’s what I like to do – I like working with kids and I like books.”

While she was getting her degree, Fellers worked at the Carey Memorial Library in Lexington as a reference and circulation technician. “Then I found a temporary job at the Lincoln Public Library filling in for someone on maternity leave for six months,” she said.

“I really love it here. It was the perfect opportunity. I get to do story times and book groups with third and fourth graders,” she said with a smile. “You get to know the patrons; you see the same faces. People will stop by and talk. I really enjoy the small-town environment.”

Be sure to stop by and say “Hello” the next time you see one or the other at the Reference Desk at the library. ∆

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