New children’s librarian filling schedule with fun and education

Shelton welcomed a new children’s librarian for the Huntington Branch Library in January. Marissa Ciullo was selected from more than 10 candidates to lead the branch children’s services.

She began the new year by continuing to offer programs that were already library staples for the pre-school population, plus adding her own Show & Tell Story Time for all ages.

Then, Marvelous Mondays were scheduled for February. This exploratory program for kids ages 3-10 offers activities run every 15 minutes from 3:30-5:30 p.m.; materials are supplied on a first-come, first-served basis and no registration is required.

In March, "Miss Marissa" attained her goal of offering at least one program every weekday.


Tweens and teens

Then she began adding events to appeal to tweens and teens, “I want children and teens to view the library as a fun place where they can expand their creativity and imagination," she said.

She continues seeking input from kids from 10 to 19 to help design programs, department décor, and build the collection of books and media serving that audience.

This summer they can look for mind reading and hypnosis, a library version of Minute to Win It, a dessert-making workshop, plus more inventive activities just for tweens and teens.
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"I hope there will be an activity to please every child or teen."

— Marissa Ciullo

With the arrival of spring her attention turned to planning a Library Summer Tree House Club, featuring special guest performers and lots of library activities.

“With 20 special summer events planned in addition to our regular programs, I hope there will be an activity to please every child or teen," Ciullo said.


Ciullo worked at other libraries

Ciullo, a graduate of the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, originally planned to specialize in service to older adults.

A native of Naugatuck, she found a part-time job in the Howard Whittemore Library serving teens on the weekends, and her heart was lost to a new group of library users.

For the past six years, Ciullo was the children’s librarian at the Oxford Public Library, where she created an array of events for children.

She worked with both Great Oak Middle School and Oxford High School to provide book groups and build the appeal of library programs. She partnered with local businesses to feature their offerings and encourage families to explore the town as part of summer programs.

A Pizza Taste Off for teens was a particularly popular event, as was the end-of-summer Ice Cream Party provided by Oxford’s Country Creamery’s Fabulous Traveling Sundae Bus.


Plenty of choices

Ciullo is working with the children’s staff of the Plumb Memorial Library to be sure the kids of Shelton have plenty of choices to fill the summer days and evenings, a release from the library said.

This year, readers at the branch will weigh the books and magazines they read — the goal is to read an actual ton (2,000 pounds).
Visitors can check the growing poundage by dropping in to the Huntington Branch Library located in the Shelton Community Center at 41 Church St.