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Jennifer Nash Joins C.H. Booth Library



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Sandy Hook resident Jennifer Nash is the new assistant director at C.H. Booth Library.

“I love it. The people are so nice and I am really enjoying learning about the history of the library, meeting my colleagues and patrons,” Nash said in a recent phone interview.

She officially began her tenure at C.H. Booth Library on March 22. Nash was serving as the head of teen services at Wallingford Public Library.

While she misses her coworkers “who were like a second family” and the patrons at the Wallingford Public Library, Nash sounded excited when describing all the things she is looking forward to as a staff member of C.H. Booth, her hometown library.

Her excitement for the new chapter in her career was echoed by C.H. Booth Library Director Douglas Lord. With Nash joining the staff, Lord noted in an April 13 phone interview that the library is poised to “go from a trot to a gallop in terms of responsiveness and providing the services we are able to provide during COVID times and forever.”

Lord cited Nash’s administrative experience and “masterful” ability to help serve patrons as some of the top reasons he is excited for her to join the library.

The position of assistant director was left open following longtime library staff member Beryl Harrison’s retirement last summer.

In a release, previously published in The Newtown Bee, from the management and trustees of C.H. Booth Library, President Amy Dent said, “After a deliberate process with many strong candidates, the search committee agreed that Jennifer was the right individual to join the administrative team.”

The hiring search committee, according to the release, included members of the library’s staff — Meg Savarese, Alana Bennison, and Lord — and of the Board of Trustees — Rose Marie Zaharek, Betsy Litt, and Beth Hamilton.

Lord said Nash was chosen from a “competitive” field of applicants, and the first sentence of her cover letter started with the words, “I am thrilled to...” That stood out.

Nash has lived in Sandy Hook with her husband, Jerry, daughter, Amelia (10), and son, Trey (7), for about four years.

She is looking forward to being “part of the community I live in.” When she learned of the open position at C.H. Booth Library she said she “took a chance and applied for it. I was so thrilled when I found out I had [been chosen].”

According to the release, Nash is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in library science from Southern Connecticut State University. She held a professional position at the Milford Public Library prior to her time in Wallingford.

Nash described her love of working with teens for her job at Wallingford Public Library.

“I love to help people,” Nash noted, adding that she loved when patrons would come back to the library to visit her as adults to share the library had been a supportive space for them as teens. “...That made me feel like I had done something right.”

She is approachable and she is an avid reader.

“I love to talk about books, so if [patrons] need suggestions, I’m always happy to give them,” Nash said.

As of April 9 Nash was reading and “really enjoying” The Salt Pass by Raynor Winn. It is a nonfiction about a couple who lose everything and decide to embark on a hiking journey when the husband received a terminal diagnosis.

Nash said she also loves “the whole philosophy of the library” as a place people can go where they do not have to pay for access to information.

There are many things Nash is looking forward to, like the work of transforming the library to reflect current trends, expanding services, and focusing on the library as a learning institution. Some of the upcoming events she noted as things to be excited for include programs that focus on re-entering the job market and programs on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

According to the release, Nash will be helping to coordinate library services in support of a mission to promote the joy of lifelong learning, stimulate curiosity, support the exchange of ideas, and build a welcoming gathering place for the Newtown community. She will lead a dedicated staff of 11 full-time and nine full-time equivalents who are focused on meeting community needs through services that position the library as a connector, partner, community hub, and a place for collaborative learning.

Lord summed up the news of Nash’s joining the library quickest with what could be a chapter title: “She’s wonderful.”

Sandy Hook resident Jennifer Nash is the new assistant director at C.H. Booth Library. —Bee Photo, Hallabeck
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