The Stonington Free Library is known for its friendly, welcoming and helpful staff. We are always here to greet you and connect you with collections, expertise, services, and programs both in the Library and throughout the community. Please stop by and see us!
I joined the Stonington Free Library team in 2012 when I was hired as a part-time assistant to Maris Frey, Director of Youth Services. This was the first step in my library career having just graduated with my MLIS from the University of Rhode Island. I had previously worked at the Visual Resources Library in the Fine Arts Dept. of URI and interned at both Groton Public Library and the Linda Lear Center for Special Collections & Archives at Connecticut College. In 2014, I was offered a full-time position at SFL and began splitting my time between Youth Services and Adult Services. I became Assistant Director in March 2016, and in January 2021, I was appointed as Director. Throughout my many roles over the years, I have always truly enjoyed serving this wonderful community.
I grew up working in my family’s small business, then went on to study English and German at Connecticut College. As a self-described “professional library patron,” I jumped at the chance to work part-time at the Bill Memorial Library in the City of Groton in 2013. This experience inspired me to begin graduate studies in library science.
Since then, I have worked in children’s services and been a coordinator for the Connecticut Library Consortium. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to start working one day per week at SFL. All this time I had been pursuing my Master’s degree, and in December, 2020 I successfully completed an MLIS through San Jose State University. I am honored to bring my education and experience to the dynamic SFL team of staff and board members.
Born in England I have lived in Stonington for nearly forty years. My husband is a naval historian and author and we have three grown children and three grandsons. I have worked at the Library for over thirty years as part-time circulation staff, Assistant Director, Interim Acting Director, Director and now, after retirement Director Emeritus.
I have lived in Southeastern Connecticut for over a decade, having relocated to the area for my husband’s naval career. We have four wonderful children. I have been involved with civic minded groups in fundraising and event planning for over 25 years. I am excited to be part of the Stonington Free Library, I hope my work here helps the library to enrich lives and build community by bringing information, ideas and people together. I have a BS in Community Development and a MSA in Fundraising and Philanthropy from Central Michigan University.
After moving to the area from Massachusetts as a public school Assistant Librarian, I joined the Stonington Free Library part-time in 2006. When the Children/Teen Department position became available, I came “downstairs” full-time. My son remarked, “Mom, you get to be Mrs. Hurley”, the Children’s Librarian from our former town. His comment reminds me daily of the impact of my chosen path. I have an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and half completion of a M.Ed.
In May 2013, I joined the Stonington Free Library as a Youth Services Assistant. After years of teaching, I enjoy fostering a love of reading in young children. I have lived in Southeastern Connecticut for 35 years, and love living near the ocean. I have B.A. in History from Syracuse University and a M.A.T. from Sacred Heart University.
Karen is a library media paraprofessional at Stonington Public Schools. She has worked in early childhood education for over twenty years. She is a writer actively seeking publication, a member of two local critique groups, and belongs to an international writing organization. Karen started working at Stonington Free Library in 2019.
After graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Biological Sciences I worked various jobs in and out of the field of science. My love for research and advancing knowledge fit naturally into the position of library assistant. I look forward to helping all patrons access the wonderful array of services that the SFL has to offer.
I’ve never considered myself to be a bookworm, but I have always been fascinated by the art of storytelling. In their own way, stories allow us to connect with one another, immerse ourselves into new and exciting worlds, and allow us to view the world through a different set of eyes. As a library assistant, my goal is to share my passion for literature and stories while encouraging our patrons to explore new avenues and to keep an open mind.
Having been in the business world for most of my adult life, I realized I was ready for a change and working in a library is something I have always wanted to do. I enrolled in the Three Rivers Community College Library Technology Certificate Program and was fortunate to find a position here at SFL in 2020. The library has always represented the truest form of community for me and I enjoy helping patrons, getting to know them and being a part of the enthusiasm that seems to surround the library.
It took far longer than it should have for me to realize I wanted to work in a library. I’ve loved reading and visiting libraries since even before I learned how to read, and as an adult they have been a refuge for information, entertainment, and quiet study. I am currently enrolled in the Library Technology Certificate at Three Rivers Community College. It’s wonderful to work in the library I grew up attending. I love to read cozy mysteries, graphic novels, sci fi and fantasy, and young adult novels.
I grew up visiting my hometown library at least twice a week every summer vacation. I knew as I got older that I wanted to turn my love of reading into a career and went on to become an elementary school teacher in Boston and studied to earn a Masters degree in reading. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the classroom and watching my students grow, however as I reflected upon my own goals I realized I truly wanted to get into the field of working in a public library. I started in the MLS program at the University of Rhode Island in the summer of 2021 and soon after was given the opportunity to become a library assistant at the Stonington Free Library. I have learned so much already and I look forward to learning so much more from all my amazing colleagues here!
After teaching science for the past 25 years at nature centers, natural history museums, and most recently the Niantic Children’s Museum, Sarah is ready to start a new chapter of her career. Library services has been a great fit, as she loves working with people, organizing materials, and being in a role that involves learning and sharing knowledge. Sarah is thrilled to be working at SFL, which is such a valuable resource to the Stonington community. She is very appreciative of the welcoming and positive energy from the library’s patrons and staff.
Growing up in a small town we had an old one room schoolhouse library that I visited every two weeks as a child. I admired the two librarians that would help me pick out books that interested me. Since as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for reading. I graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a concentration in early childhood education. My first teaching position was at a preschool in Groton. My favorite part was reading to the children, both individually and as a group. I combined my love for books and working with children to start a new position in the library field. I worked for eleven years for a small public library in Eastern Connecticut and two years part time in a public school library. I am excited to work with the patrons and staff at the Stonington Free Library.
I remember developing a strong love for libraries when my mom would ask that I check out Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books from my elementary school library. With each book we read together her broken English would improve along with my fluency. My mom’s love of reading is what I hoped I would pass on to my own children. We spent many hours in the Children’s Reading Room at the Stonington Free Library picking out stacks of books, making crafts, and participating in the summer reading program. After raising my family, I am eager to be a part of an institution that has given me so much already.
After working for nearly a decade in bookstores, I decided to change careers slightly and become a librarian. Then after getting my MLIS from Simmons University in Boston, I worked for public libraries in my home state of Pennsylvania and then Rhode Island before starting at the Stonington Free Library in late 2021. I love all things horror and otherworldly, and sometimes buy books just because I like their covers.
I think an appreciation for libraries is just part of my genetic code! My beloved grandmother Bettie was the children’s librarian in Stonington for many years so from a very young age libraries felt like an extension of home. I have always been fascinated with the beauty of the physical spaces of libraries and the crucial role they serve in communities; Stonington is no exception. To date I have worked mostly in the nonprofit sector for Save The Bay, The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut and ReSOURCE, VT to name a few. I attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison and received a degree in Political Science while rowing Division I crew as a freshman. My time in Madison was formative, acquiring skills for community organizing and advocacy that have served me well both personally and professionally. At present, I co-own and operate a small screen printing and design company with my partner Morgan King. With an eye for detail, my passion is to bring community members together in creative ways and reimagine uses for underutilized places and spaces. I am an ardent learner and thoughtful listener. I love running, gardening and laughing at the antics of my joyful son Milo.
Libraries have been part of my life from childhood to adulthood. As a Mom raising my three boys, the library was part of their lives as well. It was a fun place both for them and for me too. It was a place where my boys were actually quiet for more than an hour! Now, being a part of the Stonington Free Library as a Library Assistant is a way for me to “pay it forward” both to the people coming into the library and the general community as well. I so much enjoy being a part of the SFL team. My co-workers are terrific and I look forward to seeing you when you come by!
Board of Trustees
Kevin Bowdler, President
Allegra Griffiths, Vice-President
Diana Beck, Secretary
Betsy Bowman, Treasurer
David S. Purvis
Clare E. Sheridan
Sage D. Williams