Meghan Ebbitt and Olivia McElwain have recently been appointed our Reading Public Library’s newest librarians, succeeding Corinne Fisher and Brenda Wettergreen who recently retired after a combined 72 years of library service to our town. Meghan and Olivia will work in Children’s Services as part of a team of 4 children’s librarians.
Meghan comes to the Reading Public Library (RPL) after over 15 years of broad library service in large and small libraries alike in Michigan, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Maryland. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a Master’s in Library Information Science from Wayne State University. For Olivia, the RPL is her first full time position after serving part time in multiple libraries across the area. She just graduated from Simmons University with a Master’s in Library Science to go along with another Simmons Master of Arts in Children’s Literature. Her undergraduate degree was earned at New York University.
Olivia’s interest in coming to the RPL was triggered through Simmons where she was told that Reading’s library was the best community library in the Noble Network’s 29 libraries. In point of fact, Reading ranks #1 in per capita circulation in the Noble Network. In total circulation, Reading is topped only by Beverly whose population is twice as large as ours.
Meghan moved to Woburn this past March from Maryland. She looks forward to getting to know the community and as many residents and library visitors as she can. She’s already involved in the library’s summer reading programs, the story times on summer Tuesdays, and looks forward to continuing toddler storytime in the Fall when school resumes. Meghan contends that it’s never too early to begin learning, especially with the mediums available today going far beyond books. There’s action rhyme, finger plays, songs, stories, and flannel boards to assemble and tell a story.
Olivia seconds Meghan’s thoughts in the library’s importance to early literacy. Reading, writing, singing, talking and playing are all important pieces of early literacy while books are the mainstay in connecting the mind to new ideas. Applying all the practical ideas and things the library offers into promoting diversity and inclusion through story times, programming and collections is what the Children’s Room is all about. In fact, being more open to emerging populations and promoting diversity and inclusion for that wider population, goes well beyond the children’s room to the total library’s offering. Progress is being made and both Meghan and Olivia would like to see more made over the next five years. In 10 years, they would like to see the library be the technological and educational hub of the town, working closely with the schools, town leadership and residents to help all our children be better prepared to meet the speed with which technology is making our world even smaller. They believe that the library keeps human interaction going, bringing the community together in person and not “virtually” as the internet and social media do.