Friday, December 14, 2018

There’s a new face at the Windham Public Library

Sam Cote with a few of her new friends
By Jennifer Davis

There was a big welcome this past Thursday, December 6 at the Windham Public Library (WPL) as staff and residents formally welcomed Sam Cote as the new children’s librarian. With popcorn and cookies, brownies and juice, the conference room was filled with many excited community members. The welcome party was a success and a fun way to introduce Ms. Cote to all the library patrons.
Cote was hired as the children’s librarian this past October, following the retirement of Mrs. Laurel Parker who had been the children’s librarian for 25 years.

Liam and Fiona Shaw, along with their mother Liz, were among many who came to greet and welcome Cote. “It’s great,” five-year-old Liam said of the party as he played with plastic dinosaurs that were on display with pictures from the recent Dinovember event.

Cote, who grew up in Saco and was an avid reader from a very young age, is excited about this opportunity and the staff and community members are looking forward to working together with her at WPL.  Cote joins the library from Winslow, where she was the Youth Services and Technology Librarian.  “I have always loved books,” Ms. Cote said.  “But it didn’t occur to me until college to become a librarian.” 

Cote began her path to becoming a librarian during a work study program at Smith College where she majored in Women’s Studies and Public Policy.  Originally thinking she would work at a nonprofit dealing with issues such as domestic violence and sexual abuse, her time working in the work study program led her in a direction. “I found that my talents work better in the library world,” Cote said.  “So, I completed my Masters of Science degree online through the University of South Carolina while I worked full-time.”

Since graduating Cote has had time working at Baxter Memorial Library in Gorham, McArthur Library in Biddeford, and Jackson Memorial Library in Tenants Harbor in various roles, all leading her to the role she is most passionate about: children’s library services. Cote has many hopes and dreams for the Windham Public Library.  “It’s great to see so many families already using the library on a regular basis,” Cote said. “I look forward to coordinating family programs with our adult services department, as well as groups like Windham Parks and Recreation, Windham’s schools, preschools, daycares, and Be the Influence.” 

This month, the library has two programs taking place during vacation that Cote and the staff have been working on. One event will be aimed towards older kids making snowflakes and slime and the other will be geared towards families, opening an opportunity for younger children to participate in welcoming in the New Year with a “Noon” Year’s Eve celebration. 

Some events that the library is currently working on are programs for fourth through sixth graders such as a Lego Club and crafting session. With her love for music, Cote hopes to bring programs that include dancing and singing to supplement future story time events. “I would love to continue the great work Mrs. Parker did and put my spin on it,” stated Cote. 

The library just wrapped up Dinovember, where plastic dinosaurs caused mischief in the library and are currently working on the Wishing on a Star display.  “I love seeing families work together on filling out their feather or star and having a conversation about their wishes,” said Cote.  “I look forward to getting to know Windham better and making the library an even better place to come and visit.”

Cote got married in September and her husband works for the Maine State Library in Augusta.  Although she does not have any pets currently, she hopes to have cats and dogs in the future.  She has a love for music and dancing and plays the clarinet.

You never know where the path of life will take you, but you always end right where you need to be. If you are interested in meeting Ms. Cote, you can find her most days the library is open in the children’s library section. Stop by to say hello and welcome her to the community. As Dr. Seuss said in the book “Oh the Places You’ll Go. Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away.”

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