Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of Q&As with Framingham Public Library staff. The main Framingham Library and the Christa McAuliffe Library branch were physically closed for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. During that time period, a new director and assistant director were hired. During those months, new staff was hired, some left, and with the library back to its pre-pandemic hours, SOURCE thought it would be great during the prime summer reading season to introduce and re-introduce key library staff to the community, and have staff discuss what the library has to offer and their favorite parts of the libraries.
Head of Outreach and Community Experience Lara Vilahomat
When started in current position: December 2020
How long with Framingham Library: 9 months!
I am responsible for: Creating and implementing adult programs and events and connecting with the Framingham community.
Favorite Children’s book: “Michael Hague’s Favourite Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales” illustrated by Michael Hague. I had a copy signed by the illustrator growing up, and the wild, weird, and gorgeous illustrations by Hague match the magical darkness of the original fairy tales. I also recommend his illustrated version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”!
Favorite Book: “His Dark Materials” series! I also have a MA in Medieval Literature, and the layers of the story hit every part of what’s interesting in literature to me. You have the coming-of-age story of two children going on adventures through fantasy multiverses and confronting political and religious tensions, and then you realize that underneath it’s a re-writing/inversion of Milton’s “Paradise Lost”! The audiobook is especially phenomenal, narrated by the author and a full cast.
Favorite author: For writing style, as much as I love Philip Pullman, I am going to have to say Charles Dickens. The final page of “A Tale of Two Cities” never fails to make me ugly-cry.
Favorite section of the Framingham Library to browse: Young Adult (YA). I love YA fantasy especially, and I can walk up and down the aisles and easily come away with 10-12 books based on the covers alone.
When I’m in the library, I just can’t help myself and check out the displays near the Circulation desk! Our creative Circulation staff are fantastic at picking out fun and interesting books on a rotating theme.
The best part of my job is Every part of my job is the best part! Three key parts of librarianship are: Information, Education, and Recreation. With my job, I get to collaborate with the staff and the people of Framingham to create programs and events that embody all three pieces and learn while having fun!
I wish people knew the library offered A database called NoveList. I use it all the time to choose my next read. You can put in a series, character, author, etc., and the database will generate a list based on the things that you liked about the book. It will also tell you the reasons for its recommendations. Then, it will link you to our catalog to find the book you’ve chosen!
The Framingham Library needs YOU! To check out books, to come to our programs (please come to our programs!), to join the Friends, and to share with everyone you know how much we have to offer.
Last thing I took out with my library card was “Siege & Storm” by Leigh Bardugo. I’m getting ready for the next season of Shadow and Bone on Netflix!
I would recommend Oooooh, asking a librarian to recommend something is like giving catnip to a cat! It’s our favorite thing to do! I would recommend our upcoming Framingham Reads Together book, “Dear Martin”, and then check out our website for some corresponding events and programs throughout September, culminating with a talk by the author at the beginning of October!