West County Notebook: Jan. 5, 2024

Mohawk Trail Regional School Librarian Emily Willis and Principal Chris Buckland, pictured in the school library. Willis was chosen to serve as co-director for the western region on the Massachusetts School Library Association’s Executive Board.

Mohawk Trail Regional School Librarian Emily Willis and Principal Chris Buckland, pictured in the school library. Willis was chosen to serve as co-director for the western region on the Massachusetts School Library Association’s Executive Board. Contributed Photo/Justin Martin

“New Lights in the Dawnland,” an oral history project led by Sunderland-based folklorists Michael and Carrie Kline, pictured, will be shared at the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls on Friday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

“New Lights in the Dawnland,” an oral history project led by Sunderland-based folklorists Michael and Carrie Kline, pictured, will be shared at the Arms Library in Shelburne Falls on Friday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m. STAFF FILE PHOTO/CHRIS LARABEE

Published: 01-04-2024 2:06 PM

Sen. Paul Mark’s staff holding office hours in Buckland

BUCKLAND — State Sen. Paul Mark’s staff will hold office hours on Tuesdays, Jan. 9 and Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon at Buckland Town Hall, 17 State St.

Constituents of Mark’s Berkshire, Hampden, Franklin and Hampshire District are encouraged to ask for assistance with issues involving any state agency or share ideas on current or potential state legislation. Appointments are not needed.

Arms Library to share oral history project

SHELBURNE FALLS — The Arms Library at 60 Bridge St. will present “New Lights in the Dawnland” on Friday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m.

The oral history project led by Sunderland-based folklorists Michael and Carrie Kline features regional Indigenous voices and encompasses nearly 13,000 years of native history in a two-hour audio documentary.

“New Lights in the Dawnland” includes interviews with David Brule, president of the Nolumbeka Project; Northfield resident Joe Graveline, the Nolumbeka Project’s co-founder; Vermont resident Rich Holschuh of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe; and Doug Harris, a former Narragansett deputy tribal historic preservation officer. Additional narration is provided by Chief Roger Longtoe Sheehan of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe, who also provides traditional drumming, singing and flute music.

The program will be held in the library’s downstairs Kirby Langford Room. Time for questions and answers will be allowed following the piece.

Admission is free. Light refreshments will be served.

Willis tapped for co-director role

BUCKLAND — Mohawk Trail Regional School Librarian Emily Willis was chosen to serve as co-director for the western region on the Massachusetts School Library Association’s Executive Board.

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Willis has participated in programs offered by the Massachusetts School Library Association over multiple years and is honored to take on the year-long role. She has been a school librarian for 18 years after having earned degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Simmons University in Boston.

Sharing her views and goals for the next year, Willis said in a statement, “MSLA has been a great way to meet up with fellow school librarians from our region and across the state. From the association we are able to access relevant professional development opportunities and grow as learners and professionals. My goal is for Franklin County area librarians to have more time to connect on shared interests, like going to author talks and attending other local events, and creating a closer-knit community of librarians.”

Mohawk Trail Regional School Principal Chris Buckland said Willis “works tirelessly for our students, families and staff.”

“Emily is a wonderful colleague and an incredible resource for our district,” Buckland said in a statement. “I am very thankful that she is a part of our talented staff.”

In early 2023, Willis was honored with a Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award for her work creating an innovative curriculum, curating a diverse and student-centered book collection, and crafting a welcoming space for students.