After seven months without a children’s librarian, the Connolly Library at 433 Centre St. welcomed Sujei Lugo to the position in January.
Lugo previously lived and worked in Somerville before relocating to JP, within walking distance to her new library.
“I moved when I started here,” she told the Gazette last week. “I haven’t had the time to appreciate the space completely yet.”
The Puerto Rico native moved to the Boston area three-and-a-half years ago, to pursue her Ph.D. in library science. She wanted to work with bilingual kids in a bilingual neighborhood, she said.
“In Puerto Rico, I worked as an elementary school librarian for several years, in Spanish and English titles. That’s where I learned that’s what I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” she said.
The Connolly Library has already welcomed her with open arms.
“We’re excited to have a children’s librarian again after so many months, and it’s also nice that she’s fluent in Spanish, too,” Connolly librarian Amy Manson told the Gazette.
Lugo wants to build on former children’s librarian Laura Foner’s legacy of engagement and activism.
“I really want to continue the library’s history with community involvement. The previous children’s librarian did a great job and I want to continue that,” she said. “I want to provide programs and services that are of interest to our community and that go along with our cultural and social aspect of our community.”
That means enhancing the library’s bilingual offerings, and starting a recurring bilingual story time, for a start. Lugo also already has plans to implement a baby-oriented story time.
A debut LEGO Builders Club meeting had a “great turnout,” she said. The finished pieces are on display, Lugo said.
But most importantly, Lugo wants the neighborhood to know that the library is there to “work with and for the community.”
“I want to bring the community groups to the library. We are offering the library as a space to work with and for the community. We want to offer their programs at out space. The community here in JP is doing great things and they can bring that to the library,” she said.