When new Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia sits at her desk in the basement of the Chelsea Public Library near the Children’s Rooms, it’s a place that has been familiar to her since she was a little girl – coming to the library with her mother and experiencing a safe, learning environment.
Now she has been hired as the new full-time librarian after having worked part-time at the library for about 10 years, and is excited to share her love of reading with a new generation of Chelsea kids.
“I didn’t want to leave Chelsea because my family is here and my memories are here,” she said. “I don’t want to work in any other area. I want to help Chelsea grow and I want to be part of the growth…This position is a dream come true for me. I worked here in high school and came back after college and have been here since 2011. It’s a dream come true because I believe in what the library provides – the education and the free access to information. I enjoy seeing kids excited about reading or coming to work on their homework. I want to help them out. It’s a dream come true because I have always seen myself here.”
Palencia attended St. Rose School as a girl, and then went to the Williams Middle School. She attended Chelsea High School and graduated in 2007. She graduated from Salem State and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library Science at Cambridge College.
Palencia said her memories of the Chelsea Library are very comforting, and she hopes to be able to pass that on.
“I think it was the people who made it very special,” she said. “They had great relationships with my mother coming in here and being able to feel comfortable and to ask questions. They always quenched the curiosity I had.”
Palencia has been spearheading the English as a Second Language program that meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., and now she has expanded that to working in the Children’s area.
She said her big push right now is for the upcoming Summer Reading Program.
“I am already really excited about summer reading,” she said. “I am looking for any local businesses wanting to collaborate with the Chelsea Public Library to donate prizes. It could be as simple as a free ice cream cone, or as much as a free bike – which the Knights of Pythias donated last year.”
She said they will be bringing back the story times soon, and will have a full range of winter and spring activities soon as well.
“I’m a life-long Chelsea resident and also very proud to be Latina,” she said. “I’m happy that we can bring in more Spanish speakers. Our staff does a great job and we have so many knowledgeable people to help accommodate everyone.”
Cutline – New Children’s Librarian Katherine Palencia said landing the position at the Library is a dream come true for her. Having fond memories of attending the library as a girl, she said she is excited to pass that on to a new generation of Chelsea kids.