By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
As a special treat this week, Hometown Weekly Reporter Madison Butkus had the pleasure of sitting down with Westwood Public Library’s Children’s Librarian, Caitlyn Moore. Caitlyn details her time at the library, her favorite events to host, and some good book recommendations.
How long have you worked at the Westwood Public Library?
So I started in 2018 and I was over at the Islington Branch as the assistant over there. I believe I switched over in 2021, these years are jumbled together after Covid. I started here as the Children’s Librarian. I got my degree in between which was super rewarding as well.
How do you like your job here? What’s your favorite part of it?
I absolutely love working here. My favorite part of it would have to be that I love seeing the enthusiasm on people’s faces when they come in. I love matching a reader with the right book. Sometimes parents or the kids will come in and they will say someone liked the book they read, can you recommend more? I mean it’s just really nice to hear and I love doing it for everyone. It’s so rewarding knowing that a recommendation I made is now a favorite book of theirs. I mean growing up, I had those favorite books, so I know the feeling well.
What are your favorite types of events to host for kids here at the library?
We do storytimes every week which are always really fun. We usually do not get exactly the same people each week but there is a consistent group. This is always really cool because in a way I get to watch them grow up. We also have ‘Read to a Dog’ which is also really awesome. We are actually expanding that this fall, we will still have this event for K-5 kids, but we are also going to do the ‘Woofing Hour’ once a month. And I actually have a dog coming in for that this afternoon to do a little tour because I want him to get used to the sights and the smells and sounds. Anything with a dog, I am there!
Any good book recommendations?
Well it really all depends on what you like. For instance, if you like Colleen Hoover books you will probably like the author Emily Henry. So “Beach Read” is like her first one, you may like that one. It was about an author, and from what I remember, she goes on a retreat and reconnects with this other author. It’s kind of like an enemies to lovers situation. But I really like her books because I feel like, with Colleen Hoover, she does a really good job with developing her characters which sometimes in romances can be hard to do/find and Emily Henry does that as well. I went through Colleen Hoover books all through Covid, they were really great reads.
Any upcoming events in the Fall to look forward to?
Yes absolutely! We have some author events, we will be at Westwood Day. We are really excited about that. We just finished a really successful Summer Reading Program that went from June 1st to August 31st. We got over 1,000 participants this year between babies through adults. It was sponsored by The Friends of the Library, Dedham Savings, Roche Brothers and Wegmans. We really look forward to that event every year. For the fall, we are going to have Harry Potter Night. That’ll be on September 14th and it looks to be an overall fantastic event. We are also starting two new book clubs, one of which is ‘Words of Wilderness.’ So that will actually be held at Hale, we have two librarians that are going to go there. Participants are going to read “In a Dark, Dark Wood” which I believe is a thriller and they will walk and talk about it. And then there is also a romance book club starting up that is called ‘Hot-To-Trot’ Lovers Plots Book Club. That will begin on September 26th. Oh, and we also have an Author Talk set up with Emily Franklin to discuss her book “The Lioness of Boston.” That will be happening on September 28th. So we have some great new book clubs coming up and some other big events to look out for!
How would you describe the importance of a library?
I would say that it’s one of the few places left that you can exist for free. So just being a space that is welcoming, accommodating, safe for people to kind of just exist. I mean we will have people who come here who spend a few hours playing, some people will spend a few hours in the gallery working from home, we have middle schoolers who come here everyday after school who will play on the computers or do their homework. It really is just one of those few places that you can go and kind of just enjoy yourself. And we are always trying to change and evolve with the times. Like we have our big library of things that we are expanding. So we have a new karaoke machine, a metal detector, a birding kit, a circuit machine, color-blind glasses. We are always trying to evolve and keep up with the changing culture and stay relevant in the community. And this is just one of the ways that we are trying to do that.