Like to read? Then this story may be for you: Teen services librarian Katie Fargo will read 100 books this year (in her estimate, 92 pages a day to April) as part of her membership on the local Nutmeg Book Award review committee.
Add to that number the books Katie will read for work and for her own enjoyment and Katie estimates she'll read as many as 250 books this year.
Reading 92 pages a day until spring? Katie shrugs it off as all in a day's work.
"Being on the committee is a really good reader's advisory tool," she says. "It helps me recommend things to kids that I've read, rather than just [having] read the reviews."
Familiar to many from her time at the Guilford Free library (she recently moved to Madison's Scranton Library), Katie says she loves her job, but being a librarian wasn't Katie's first career path. Like many, she came to the idea gradually, but with a whole lot of enthusiasm.
After graduating from St. Joseph's College of Maine with a bachelor's degree in English, Katie went on to teach 7th-grade language arts, eventually realizing the job wasn't for her.
"I really wanted to be in a library," she says. "I always liked libraries, but I didn't think I would ever get to work in one. I just always liked to be in them."
It was when Katie became friends with a school librarian that she made the decision to change jobs-"She had the best job around!"-and enroll in the library sciences program at Southern Connecticut State University.
Katie had worked as a library assistant at a middle school in Maine during college and, after earning her degree, went to work as the teen librarian at the Guilford Public Library, where her tenure lasted more than four years, until she took the job in Madison in January.
Katie, who grew up in Ledyard, says she came home to Connecticut from Maine because of the lack of library sciences programs further north. Now back in the state of her origins, she intends to stay.
"I was away for a bit, but now I'm back."
It may have been a trick of geography that's responsible for Katie's fondness for libraries-her elementary school was across the street from the town library, and she spent a lot of time there as a child.
"I would hang out there after school. To me, it was a fun place," says Katie.
In the summer, Katie plans a regular book discussion on the Nutmeg books and may organize a writing group-the popular writing group she organized at the Guilford Library still meets.
"It's a fun job. I like coming to work. Every day is different. Different people walk by and you never know what they're going to ask and you really have to be curious," says Katie of library work.
When she's not reading for work or for the Nutmeg committee, Katie enjoys a number of genres and says, "I like any kind of story, as long as it's well written and the characters are good."
As for what Katie was reading when she was a teen herself, she says her favorite book back then was probably by Judy Blume, "probably Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret because I think I read that over and over," she says, adding that she became interested in John Irving as an older teen.
In her spare time, Katie reads-and reads, and reads-and volunteers teaching English as a second language with Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore. She and her two students, both from Ecuador, meet at the Old Saybrook Library, "so once a week I go from one library to another," Katie says.
"I feel like I'm learning, too, and it's fun. I think it's really brave to pursue another language as an adult and I hope I'm helping."