Staff Picks

Need ideas for some new titles? Check out what our staff have been reading!


Meet Circulation Assistant Lisa Redmond! Lisa grew up in Barre and graduated from Spaulding High School. She earned an Associates Degree in Marketing from Champlain College. Her varied career has includes stints in sales, daycare, para-education, and coffee-tasting. She and her husband Terry are the proud parents of three daughters. Lisa joined the Aldrich team in 2015 and has been helping people find what they need at the library ever since. Patrons love seeing her cheerful smile at the circulation desk!

Lisa recommends I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool, written by mother/daughter team Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella. "I especially loved their self-deprecating writing style and the laugh out loud stories on subjects ranging from love of coffee to yoga pants. I especially related to the mother-daughter dynamic, as the (slightly crazy) mom of three daughters myself. If you are looking for a funny quick non-fiction read that puts you in a good mood, I think you’d enjoy this."

Meet Technical Services Librarian Mary-Ann Huang. Mary-Ann is the one-woman powerhouse behind all of Aldrich's cataloging: she puts in the book orders, unpacks and catalogs them, and gets everything processed and shelf-ready so that you can check out all the latest items Aldrich has to offer. She has a BA in Library Science from Johnson State College and has been working at the Aldrich Public Library for twenty-one years.

Mary-Ann recommends the Timber Creek K-9 mystery series, which follows Deputy Mattie Cobb and her K-9 partner Robo as they solve crimes in the small towns and mountains of Colorado. "It's great to have a series with a strong female lead - and a dog! The mysteries move along and really keep your interest." The third book just came out, but Mary-Ann recommends starting at the beginning with "Killing Trail", which Publishers Weekly calls a "strong debut [with] a realistic view of how a K-9 team works, treating Robo as an important character, but never stooping to anthropomorphism. And it's impossible not to fall in love with Robo."


Meet Children's Librarian Ian Gauthier. Ian graduated from Spaulding High School, earned his Bachelor's in English from Saint Michael's College, and his Masters in Library Science from SUNY Albany before returning to Barre as Aldrich's full-time Children's Librarian. He's an accomplished bagpiper and storyteller, as anyone who's attended one of his programs can attest!
To teen and adult readers, Ian recommends Patrick Rothfuss's novel The Name of the Wind.

"This novel is the coming-of-age story of Kvothe, the famed musician, swordsman, wizard, and notorious kingkiller told in his own words. The first installment in a planned trilogy, “The Name of the Wind” has all the aspects of epic fantasy: intricate and believable world-building, charismatic yet flawed characters, complex relationships, mythical beasts, adventure, and mystery."

Meet Lee Aura Bonamico, Interlibrary Loan and Reference Librarian and Network Administrator Extraordinaire. She's been answering your questions and keeping computers healthy for twenty years here at Aldrich! She was part of the crew that first got our books into an online catalog back in 1999. Lee was born and raised in Barre and now lives in the Town with her husband Piero. Our patrons love her varied reading habits, sense of humor, and fearlessness around technology.

Lee recommends The Uncommon Reader, which "lovingly pokes fun at the British monarchy. The queen goes in search of her corgis and ends up in a mobile library van that comes to the palace for the royal staff. She sets out to read all the books on the van, loses interest in her royal duties, and upsets the prime minister. I recommend this for anyone short of time and in need of a chuckle in today's world."


Meet Mary Ellen Boisvert, Aldrich's Circulation Librarian.  She's the first person most folks see when they walk in our door and has been the "face" of the library for fourteen years.  Mary Ellen has deep roots in Barre by marriage: her husband Karl runs Boisvert's Shoe Repair on Main Street, which has been in business for 67 years! Our patrons love MaryEllen for the friendly welcome she offers to everyone who visits the library.

Mary Ellen recommends The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. "I love reading historical fiction and this book is a wonderful story about two sisters in France during WWII who fight the German occupation. You won’t want to put it down until you find out what happens to Vianne and Isabelle."

Meet Young Adult and New Technology Librarian Garrett Grant. Garrett traded Great Lakes living in Westfield, NY for mountains when he moved to Barre in August 2018. He has been working with teens in libraries since 2014 and frequently visited his hometown library when he was a teen. Garrett is currently pursuing his Master's in Library Science online through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Garrett recommends The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. "Even though the story predates social media and smartphones, it's still a relevant coming-of-age story that really frames the pressures young people face and puts the conversation about mental health front and center."


Meet Library Director Sarah Costa!  Sarah grew up in the Midwest and earned her Masters in Library Science from the University of Illinois before moving to Vermont in 2011, where she immediately became involved in libraries around the state. "I love the role libraries play here of bringing people together, of helping them pursue their passions and interests while also getting them more connected to their community." Sarah has served as Aldrich's Director since 2015. She's the proud mom of an almost-three-year-old with another on the way. When she's not at Aldrich or chasing a preschooler, Sarah enjoys cooking, hiking, karate, and, of course, reading.


Sarah recommends Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A., by Danielle Allen. "This short memoir. . . examines how her beloved baby cousin's life was derailed by incarceration at age 15 and ended too soon and too violently after his release a decade later. It works as a heartbreaking family tale, social commentary, and readable scholarly analysis of gangs in America and the moral and practical shortcomings of mass incarceration. She concludes with an unexpected solution to some of America's most persistent challenges. Pick this up if you enjoyed "The Other Wes Moore" or "The New Jim Crow", or are interested in the subtle things that can lead one family member to Princeton and another to prison."

Susan recommends Amy Bloom's new book, White Houses: "It's about Eleanor Roosevelt and her friendship and love affair with Lorena Hickok, an American journalist. It's fiction but based on real people and events and has a lot of interesting historical detail. When I start reading an Amy Bloom book I want to read every sentence twice, she's such a good writer. Her subject is always love in one form or another and her writing is always rich and compassionate."