Meagher leaves EPL after years of enthusiastic storytelling
Maureen Meagher has had a successful five years working at EPL. She’s read to numerous kindergarten classes and shared an enthusiasm for literacy through storytimes. She even met her husband at her library.
She says Carlos, her now husband, came into Pierre Moran one day. He exceeded his allotted time on an express Internet station. She had to ask him to log off because others were waiting.
“I had to be like, ‘I’m sorry sir, but this computer is for people that need to do something in 30 minutes or less. If you need it for longer, you need a library card,’” Meagher says. “So I got him to sign up for a library card, and six months later, we went on our first date.”
Before becoming the audience development manager, before she becoming the Pierre Moran branch manager, before becoming the children’s librarian for the branch, Meagher worked part time as a clerk at EPL’s Dunlap location and was a full-time teacher in Spanish and English as a Second Language at Concord and Baugo schools. She speaks fluent Spanish.
“I loved teaching English as a Second Language because that was like teaching a survival skill,” she says. “You see the payoff, the kids are getting more and more fluent, and their reading levels are going up.”
Through that job, she became more focused on literacy and the importance of reading, especially for English learners.
“I had to cultivate my own classroom library for my students,” she says.
Most of her students were reading English at a second- or third-grade level. But the books for that reading level are written to interest younger students, not the junior-high-aged students she was teaching. So, she would track down books that bridged the gap.
“Then it was just more and more about the importance of literacy and reading skills,” says Meagher. “If they’re just fluent verbally, there’s so much they’re missing out on.”
After her teaching position was eliminated, she applied to an opening at the library. In her most reent job, she focuses on connecting the community with the library through visits to preschools, senior centers and more.
“My favorite parts of my job – I love the kindergarten classroom visits and my storytimes with the preschoolers,” says Meagher.
At Pierre Moran, Meagher is known for her energy and positive spirit, something she attributes to her mother.
“Especially when you’re ready to read your stories, you convey that enthusiasm,” she says. “You can take a book that maybe they wouldn’t have picked because of the cover. Your enthusiasm, it pulls them in. Then they’ll want to read it, or oftentimes, they’ll check out one of the stories that I read.”
She gets book suggestions from her sister, Tricia, who works at the downtown library, and others. She puts her spin on them to captivate her audience.
“Making those books come alive and getting animated,” says Meagher. “Someone showed me this older book that I’d never seen before and I did it for a classroom the next day. All the kids loved it, but one classroom asked me to do it again. So, we did it together. They did the voices with me the second time.
“That makes it worth it.”