Staff Spotlight: Karen Verduci

A familiar face for our families and children, Family and Youth Services Librarian, Karen Verduci has been welcoming our youngest patrons to the library for the past fifteen years.

Ms. Karen plans and leads programs for children ages birth through eleven years old. The programs range from storytimes, to book clubs, to STEAM programs.

We sat down with Ms. Karen to learn more about her experiences at the library.

How long have you been working for the library?

Almost 15 years ago. I used to bring my kids to story time over at the train station. Then when my youngest started Kindergarten, I began working there. I like to joke that I got the job so that I could keep coming to story time.

How has children’s programming changed over the years? Stayed the same?

The move from the train station to the new library changed things a lot. In the train station, we were limited in what we could do by space. We could only hold programs indoors when the library was closed and were limited to a few programs each week. Moving to a bigger library allowed us to offer more programs and a wider variety with our Community Room space.

There’s more of a demand for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) programs, and we take full advantage of our programming space. Programs for our youngest patrons have also become more rooted in the development of early literacy skills over the years.

One thing that hasn’t changed is that we still strive to offer programs that develop life-long readers and that make the library a fun place to be! After the past two years, we’ve especially been looking forward to Summer Reading! It’s not too late to sign up, either. We offer programs for kids of all ages- families can find more information and register on our website.

What is your favorite part of the job?

The kids. During the shutdown, when we were doing virtual programming, it just wasn’t the same.

Are there any memories that stand out?

Some things stand out, like the big celebration for the new library building, an American Girl tea party that was held, and the Battle of the Books celebrations.

There are other things that are just as memorable. Like the story time kids who come as toddlers and are shy and then by the end of the session are talking and engaged.

Do you have a favorite book or author?

That’s a hard question to answer! I have a book that I’m fondest of and that’s Harry Potter. It’s a great gateway book for reluctant readers. One of my kids was not a reader, but they came home one day wanting to go to the library to get Harry Potter. They were reading it in class and didn’t want to wait to find out what happened next!