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Children’s librarian joins Jones; poetry celebration starts Friday

An appreciation for the Jones Library’s role in the community, including how it nurtures children’s learning and exploring, has brought a former student intern back as a full-time employee.

Clare Cooke, who grew up in the Berkshires and served as a work-study page at the Jones while attending the University of Massachusetts, was recently hired to serve as youth services coordinator in the library’s children’s room.

“I have always been impressed by the Jones’ ability to strengthen the wonderful community here in Amherst through their numerous programs and resources, and I am delighted to be part of such a library,” Cooke said in an email.

Cooke spent time working at the Jones while at UMass between 2008 and 2010 and then was a part-time assistant in the children’s room in 2010. “After that first experience working in a library, I knew I had found a profession that could be both challenging and incredibly fulfilling,” Cooke said.

Most recently, Cooke has been the assistant to the children’s librarian at Northampton’s Forbes Library.

She is planning new programming, including an after-school book club for students in grades 3 through 5 that will meet Oct. 3 and 10 from 3:45 to 5 p.m., as well as writing groups and Wii gaming and craft workshops that will start in the fall.

Cooke assumes the position formerly held by Silvia “Sully” Brinkerhoff, who retired in May after more than 30 years working in the children’s room.

Poetry festival

A week of poetry-related events in downtown Amherst begins Friday afternoon with a poetry marathon at the Emily Dickinson Museum on Main Street.

The marathon, in which all 1,789 poems Dickinson wrote will be read aloud, starts at 3 p.m. and continues the following morning at 7 a.m.

In addition, the week includes a Writing Poetry Together workshop at the Jones Library Saturday at 1 p.m., a “Doughnuts and Death” reading of Dickinson poetry and a visit to her gravesite at West Cemetery after eating at The Glazed Doughnut Sunday at 11:30 a.m., a poetry read by Dara Weir, James Tate and Peter Gizzi at Amherst Books on Main Street Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.

It continues with a screening of a poetry film by Guy Pettit of Flying Object at Laughing Dogs Bicycles on South Pleasant Street Sept. 24 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., and a reading by The Common, the literary journal at Amherst College, at High Horse Brewing on North Pleasant Street Sept. 26 at 7 p.m.

For more information about the event, cosponsored by the Amherst Business Improvement District and the Emily Dickinson Museum, go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/163473750523951/

Next taxi business

A new taxi company will be operating in Amherst. A to Z Transport Taxi Co., owned by Edward L. Cage Jr., had its business license approved by the Select Board this week.

Cage, of Amherst, told the board he has driven for other companies, building relationships with customers he will serve with his new enterprise.

He added that he started the company to address customer concerns about the cleanliness of vehicles and receiving a fair price for the service. “It moved me to do something about it,” Cage said.

Street lists

Street lists are available at the central services counter at Town Hall. The publication, which contains the names and addresses of all residents 17 and older as of Jan. 1, is printed in two sections, one by precinct and the other alphabetical. The books are $10 apiece.


Tuesday: Public Transportation and Bicycle Committee, 4 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.

Thursday: Zoning Board of Appeals, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall; Finance Committee, 7 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.

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