By Rob Glidden
This weekend’s Free Comic Book Day event at the library is just one of many activities that new children’s librarian Molly Virello hopes to introduce to the young people of Southington.
A 2006 graduate of Southington High School, Virello studied English at Central Connecticut State University before traveling to the other side of the world to get her master’s degree in Information Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
While still a student in Wellington, Virello applied for the position in Southington. She had originally considered a career in teaching.
“I could do a lot of things I wanted to do as a teacher but it was easier to have fun,” she said. “Our events are something kids don’t have to come to, but they want to.”
Virello had worked for the library in the past as a page, making her familiar to its staff. The job interview was done through Skype, with the candidate putting on a brief puppet show as an example of the activities she might conduct for children in Southington.
“She’s exactly what you want in a children’s librarian,” said Library Director Sue Smayda. “We had seen that she was incredibly enthusiastic and one of those people who would work hard, but do it cheerfully.”
To accommodate her new position, Virello finished her degree while back in the states, which could prove challenging given the huge time difference between the two nations.
“Free Comic Book Day,” which begins at 2 p.m. this Saturday, is an annual promotion that typically ties in with the release of a major comic book movie – in this case, “Iron Man 3.” However, it also ties in somewhat with a study Virello did at school.
She examined several graphic novel adaptations of classic literature and observed that the visual accompaniment to the text often helped students better absorb the themes of the stories.
In the future, she hopes to also introduce more students to science with a program aimed at 9 to 12 year-olds.
“We have our promotions, but people aren’t always aware of what our department is doing,” Virello said. “I hope we can get more people in there to see what we have to offer.”