By Dot Bergin
With Pamela Aghababian as the new Teen Services librarian, The Bedford Free Public Library has someone on duty who knows about art, archaeology, food, Armenian culture, and oh yes – a lot about young adult (YA) literature, the books that both teens and adults enjoy these days.
Pam, as she prefers, joined the Library staff on April 27 but it may be a few more days before many of us have a chance to meet her. She is soon to leave on a cooking tour of Italy, a trip long in the planning, where she will visit chocolate makers and other Italian specialty food producers. She returns to her new post after Memorial Day.
In the Bedford Library, the Teen Services librarian wears two hats: she develops and carries out activities designed to engage middle school and high school students. When she isn’t involved with students, Pam helps staff the Reference Desk, along with Rand Hall, Head of Reference and Adult Services. She acknowledges that the Library already has a wealth of programs for Teens and although she has ideas for new initiatives, for now she plans to build on the successful events that Teens already enjoy – notably, TAG, a program for middle and high school students that meets every Wednesday at 1:30 pm during the school year and has just concluded, to resume in the fall. Pam welcomes suggestions for this program. And she says the Teen summer reading program, which was a great success last year, will definitely continue.
In a recent interview with The Citizen, Pam said one of the things that attracted her to the Bedford position was the obvious importance of the Library to the life of the town. She feels that Bedford is really outstanding in the way residents support and make use of the Library.
For her part, Pam’s brings to her post a varied educational and work background. A native of Lexington, she received her undergraduate degree in art history and archeology from Tufts University, including a semester stint on an archeological “dig” in Tuscany. With work opportunities a bit restricted in the archaeology field, Pam then decided on a library career and received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in 2009. Also in the past were a couple of years in book sales, at the New England Mobile Book Fair. Before coming to Bedford, Pam was on the staff of the Ashland public library.
Recently, Pam helped her mother, Sandra Aghababian, edit and publish memoirs of her grandfather (Sandra’s father), in acknowledgment of their Armenian heritage. The book, Hrant’s Story: A Journey to Survive, available on Lulu.com, is an eyewitness account of Hrant Russian’s survival through the Armenian Genocide in Turkey during the early part of the 20th century. Hrant recorded his story in Armenian on tapes during the last years of his life. Pam’s mother translated and edited the tapes into the book.
As for YA literature, Pam says she enjoys books in this genre and doesn’t feel they should be limited to any specific age group but can be appreciated by readers of all ages. She belongs to a YA book group herself; one title she recommends is The Sandcastle Girls, by Chris Bohjalian.
Correction: Bedford’s Head Reference Librarian is Rand Hall, whose name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.