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Wallingford lands another Madison librarian in Taylor, head of adult programming

WALLINGFORD — A few days after Thanksgiving, the Wallingford Public Library announced that Rachel Taylor would be joining its staff as the new head of adult programming.

In a Facebook post on the library’s page, Taylor said she is coming to Wallingford from the Scranton Memorial Library in Madison. She worked with Sunnie Scarpa, who was recently named Wallingford Public Library’s director, in Madison.

“I love what I do, and am very excited to embark on this new adventure in such a vibrant and welcoming community,” Taylor wrote in a post. “Feel free to share your thoughts and ideas for library offerings with me.”

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Rachel has joined us here at the Wallingford Public Library,” Scarpa said. “I’m certain that the community will benefit from her experience and enthusiasm.”

Taylor said a few of her favorite books include “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern, “Maus Volumes I & II” by Art Spiegelman, “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, “Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman, and “The Best We Could Do” by Thi Bui.

Question: When were you hired for your position?

Answer: “I accepted the position of Head of Adult Programming at the Wallingford Public Library on Friday, Sept. 15, and started work here on Monday, Oct. 16. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming, and I am really enjoying getting to know the Wallingford Community.”

Q: What is your experience in the library field?

A: “I’ve been a professional librarian for almost 10 years now. My first position out of graduate school was at the Mystic & Noank Library, where I worked from October 2014 to August 2019 as an Adult Services Librarian with a focus on technology programming. Later in August 2019, I began as an Adult Services & Programming Librarian at the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library in Madison, Conn., where I first worked with Sunnie Scarpa, our terrific new library director.”

Q: What is your educational background?

A: “I received my bachelor’s degree (in Classics and History in 2010) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In 2014, I graduated from Simmons University’s School of Library & Information Science with a (master’s). I originally focused on archival studies before discovering that I loved working in public libraries, which would ultimately become my career path. I’m also currently enrolled in Wesleyan University’s graduate liberal studies program as a master’s candidate in Social Sciences, which is something I think will help me in my work as a public programming librarian.”

Q: What is your favorite part about working in adult services?

A: “I love the variety of the work I do. Planning adult programs gives me the opportunity to learn about so many fascinating topics and constantly engage with people who have incredible skill sets, backgrounds, and personal stories. It keeps me on my toes and gets me thinking about different issues and interests which I might otherwise never have encountered.”

Q: What are some events that are coming up?

A: “In January, we will be launching a new adult ukulele club led by local volunteer Steven Lazarus. There will be a session for beginners on the second Monday of each month at 10 a.m. and a session for more experienced players on the second Wednesday at 7 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join the session of their choice.

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m., Mike Allen, the host of the podcast “Amazing Tales from Off and On Connecticut’s Beaten Path,” will lead a virtual talk for us called “Connecticut and Prohibition: Bootlegging in the Nutmeg State,” which will explore how Connecticut thumbed its nose at liquor bans in the 1920s.

We’ll also be hosting former Choate professor Cyrus Cook for a three-part series called “Let It Snow,” which will focus on the winter-themed writings of six New England poets.

These three sessions will meet on Jan. 17, 24, and 31 at 3 p.m.”

Q: What are your duties as the head of adult services?

A: “I plan and organize special programs, presentations, workshops, and participatory experiences for our adult patrons. I also supervise a variety of ongoing programs for the community and develop new ones that respond to a diverse range of our patrons’ interests. Additionally, I serve on several of our inter-departmental committees and collaborate with my colleagues to generate ways of engaging our community members in interesting conversations, topics, and ideas.”



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