2009-01-08 / News

Interim librarian introduces new programs for kids

By Eileen M. Daly

Kids are allowed to get into the action during Storytime at the Jamestown library. Here, from left to right, Isabelle Piccerelli, Ula McCarthy and Finbar McCarthy have librarian Denise Wilson's permission to play with snowballs inside. Photo by Jeff McDonough Kids are allowed to get into the action during Storytime at the Jamestown library. Here, from left to right, Isabelle Piccerelli, Ula McCarthy and Finbar McCarthy have librarian Denise Wilson's permission to play with snowballs inside. Photo by Jeff McDonough Interim Children's Librarian Denise Wilson has a host of exciting children's programs in mind for the upcoming months. Wilson has been filling in for children's librarian Rowena Burke since early this fall when Burke left on a medical leave. Although it is likely that Burke will be returning (at least part-time) by the end of this month, Wilson has pledged to stay on until Burke is able to fully resume her duties.

Wilson holds an MLIS degree from Simmons College. She and her husband Jerry recently moved to Newport from Massachusetts. "We met in Newport," Wilson said, "and about five years ago we purchased a house there. After my husband's company was sold, we were looking for a change. Our children are grown and out of the house so we decided to sell our home in Grafton, Mass. and move to Newport fulltime."

Wilson said that she and her husband, both 53, felt they were too young to retire fully so they decided to look for interim work instead. "It's worked out pretty well," she said. "We're both working at interim jobs that we got around the same time and in between we travel."

Since coming to the library this fall, Wilson has been involved in the creation of a number of programs. During October, Wilson said, the children worked on making haunted houses. "The haunted houses are like gingerbread houses except with more chocolate," Wilson said. "Whenever I make them everyone gets to eat," she added with a laugh.

Last week, during school vacation, Wilson made use of the left over craft materials from previous programs. "We had a craft day called Craft-o-mania. I just put together all of the crafts we had left over from previous programs—the ones that weren't enough for a full program on their own—and we used them for a variety of different projects," Wilson said.

One of Wilson's favorite programs is the Story Time Program. Currently, there are several different Story Time Programs available at the library, Wilson said. The Mother Goose Time is held on Wednesday's in January and February from 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. This program is for children ages newborn to 36 months. There are also two Story Time Programs for children ages 2 to 5 years. One program is led by Wilson and is held on Wednesdays January and February from 11:15 to noon. The other is led by Dianne Edgar and is held on Fridays January and February from 11:15 to noon.

Wilson said that she likes to give parents of 2-year-olds the option of attending the younger or older group depending on the activity level of the child. "Some 2-year-olds need to be up and moving while others are fine with sitting quietly, so I like to let the parent decide," she said. Wilson is also introducing a new Story Time Program. Pajama Story Hour is open to children of all ages and will be held on Tuesday evenings January and February from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. "I hope this group will be good for parents who cannot make it in during the day," Wilson said.

Wilson said there would be plenty of activities available during the winter months. "On Jan. 27 we are planning to make dragon masks and have a dragon dance afterward with the children wearing the masks in honor of the Chinese New Year," she said. "We will also be doing something during the February school vacation. I am thinking of maybe a movie one day and some kind of science activity on another day."

In describing why she loves her job, Wilson said, "I love children's literature. I really enjoy presenting at story time and seeing the children's reactions. You never know how they are going to respond," she said.

"It is an opportunity to be silly and have fun, but really it is all about the kids," she said. "The children make the magic."

Wilson also pointed to the support she has received from her coworkers and the larger community as one of the reasons her job has been so enjoyable. "The staff here have been wonderful," she said, "and the community has been really sweet and supportive as well."

Wilson also wanted to make sure that the Friends of the Library organization was recognized. "The Friends of the Library group puts on some really great children's programs," Wilson said. "There is always something interesting going on at the library."

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