September 21, 2013

One-on-one with new Windham librarian Jennifer Alvino Leo - By Becky Longacre

There’s a new Librarian in town. Jennifer Alvino Leo, or Jen Leo for short will start at the Windham Public Library on October 9 as the library director, replacing Inese Gruber, who retired in May.  Leo is currently the deputy director at the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook.  She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College, is very upbeat and expresses enthusiasm for benefitting the Windham people through a community partnership.

The Windham Eagle (TWE): What brought you to Windham?

Leo: It’s a really exciting opportunity for me.  I started [working as a librarian] at the Portland Public in 1994.  It was my first job.  I came to Westbrook when I got my master’s degree.

TWE: So you are very well qualified.

Leo: I think so.

TWE: What do you love most about being a librarian?

Leo: The interaction with the people in the community.  I think the library brings people together.

TWE:  Have you seen a decline in the amount of people visiting the library?

Leo: I don’t think there has ever been a decline.  I think what they use the library for has changed.

TWE: Do you feel that the library levels the playing field in terms of giving people resources?

Leo: Absolutely.  Even now with our digital services.  With the affordable care act librarians are being asked to help people register to get services. 

TWE: Wow, I had no idea.

 Leo: Yeah, it’s been a call to action.

TWE: What are a few books you’d recommend?

Leo: Right now I’m reading “And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini.  Another one of my favorite authors is Lisa Genova.  I like Jodi Picoult and Janet Evanovich.

Leo will be on board and ready to direct the library in October and looks forward to working with the community to enhance the Windham area.  Her experience, expertise and attitude are sure to be of benefit.

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