Library welcomes new children's librarian

Jessica Prutting has taken the reins as children's librarian at the Shelton Library's Huntington branch.

Jessica Prutting has taken the reins as children’s librarian at the Shelton Library’s Huntington branch.

Brian Gioiele / Hearst Connecticut Media

Jessica Prutting has found the perfect job - and Shelton library’s Huntington branch is the beneficiary.

Prutting, a Shelton resident with a 3 ½ year old of her own, was named the children’s librarian at the Huntington library branch last month, filling a position that had been vacant for several months. Prutting said she had been waiting for nearly a year before hearing the news she had long hoped to receive.

“When saw this job open, it seemed too perfect,” said Prutting about the Huntington branch children’s librarian post. “It allowed me to make an impact right here in the city that I live in.”

With the Plumb Memorial Library’s children’s department closed for renovations, the Huntington branch has been the focal point of youth programming. Miss Maura, a fixture with Plumb Library, has moved her programs to the Huntington branch. Among the upcoming events is a Thanksgiving Storytime on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at 10:30 a.m.

Prutting said this has allowed her to meet new families, which has only made her more aware of the types of programming, along with best days and times, sought by those using the Huntington branch.

“I have the ideas … it is just getting the parents and kids in here,” said Prutting, who is already set up drop-in story times for Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. and a baby sensory class for Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. - both programs to begin the week after Thanksgiving. “We have a lot to offer here. We just need to get the word out.”

Prutting started her career in the classroom, first as an instructional tutor at Long Hill School before taking a full-time teaching position in Hartford.

While her love of teaching remained, she said the constraints of the classroom pushed her to into the library media field. After earning her degree, she spent one year as library media specialist in the Region 14 school district before spending the past four years in Region 16.

Prutting said with classroom teaching, she was limited, with her focus on test preparation and other state mandates. But in the library media setting, she said she had more freedom and was able to better encourage students’ passion for reading and learning.

But when the Huntington position was advertised, Prutting said she felt the urge to make more of a local impact.

“It is so different being here … I get to deal with all different ages of kids, 0 to 18,” said Prutting. "This is something I had not had the opportunity to do in the past but had always wanted to do, so here I am.

"I love being a library media specialist, but I live in Shelton, so it is nice to be able to make an impact on my community,” added Prutting. “I have a 3 ½ year old, and to be able to serve the kids of this community is really exciting.”