SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – TAPinto South Plainfield recently spoke with Audrey Cupo, a library assistant for children’s and adult services at the South Plainfield Public Library.
Cupo, a lifelong resident of the borough, began working at the library back when she was a freshman at South Plainfield High School. She went on to earn a degree in psychology from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT and, in October will celebrate her 13th anniversary at the library. Currently, Cupo oversees both the teen and tutoring programs. She also assists Senior Children’s Library Assistant Mija Clemente with the various story times and crafts offered for young children.
“I’ve always loved books,” Cupo said, telling TAPinto that she became involved with the library at a young age. “When I was in elementary school I’d help the librarian during school breaks. I would bring in all of my friends and get them to shelve [books] with me...It was something that I have always done.”
Cupo’s popular programs include the ‘Build a Better Milkshake’ program where children aged 10 and up could come into the library, watch a movie, and enjoy milkshakes that they made themselves.
“We have a lot of [younger] kids coming into the library for the story times, but we are trying to get the [older children] to come back as they grow up and still enjoy the library,” said Cupo, adding, “It’s a space for them to enjoy and have fun in.”
Another popular program run by Cupo is ‘Pizza and Pages,” a book club where participants in seventh grade and up can meet at the library, enjoy some pizza, and talk about popular books followed by the viewing of the film adaptions; past selections include Wonder by R.J. Palacio, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, and A Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne.
“It’s nice because it’s very informal and [the participants] bring up things that [missed] about the book and then I point things out too so it is very good back and forth,” said Cupo.
During high school, Cupo served as the tutoring coordinator for the National Honor Society, an experience she used to help to bring a similar program to the South Plainfield Library, working alongside Clemente until taking on her current position full-time. These days, Cupo also runs a volunteer math and reading tutoring program where students in eighth grade and up volunteer to tutor second through fifth graders. An application is available at the library and online for those interested in either providing or receiving tutoring assistance.
“We looked at other libraries that did a tutoring program so we were able to figure out how they were doing it and how we would adapt it to [our library]... It was something that parents were asking for and we implemented it here,” said Cupo. “Some just need help with homework or just need an extra push [with school].”
Cupo said what she enjoys most about her job is working with the children. “Just to see all of those kids come in and either taking a book and being so excited about this new book that they are going to read or just like being so excited about a different program that we have at the [library[,” she said. “It’s just the joy on the kids' faces... You know that you made a difference, however small you made a difference, and it is really worthwhile."
For more information on the South Plainfield Public Library and upcoming events, visit www.southplainfield.lib.nj.us or call (908) 754-7885. You can also follow the South Plainfield Public Library on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/southplainfieldlibrary/?ref=br_rs.
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