Brookline Public Library director as of September 2021.
The Brookline Public Library Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Arefe Koushki as Director starting on September 7th, 2021.
Arefe comes to the Brookline Public Library with a wealth of experience and extensive background in the New Hampshire Library System. Having earned her Masters in Library Science while working as Head of Circulation at the Merrimack Public Library, she brings to the position more than a decade of library experience.
Arefe earned her MLS from the University of North Texas and additionally holds a Masters in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. During Arefe’s tenue at the Merrimack Public Library she advanced from Library Assistant to Administrative Assistant to the Director, to Executive Department Head-Head of Circulation where she oversaw the circulation staff and managed the library’s circulation budget. Arefe worked closely with the Merrimack Library Director and assumed Acting Director responsibilities as needed.
Prior to Merrimack she worked at the Nashua Public Library. Arefe takes the helm from Pat Leonard who retired as Director of the Brookline Public Library in June 2021.
Julie Spokane, Library Clerk since June, 2010
At the library I work at the Circulation Desk and handle Inter-Library Loans
Life Before the Library – I’m a UNH Business Administration major and worked as a CPA for several years.
Life Outside the Library – I read as much as I can, I love to walk and go to Yoga class. I enjoy spending time in Ogunquit, Maine with my family.
Some of My Favorite Books – The Golem and the Jinni by Helen Wecker, You Will Not Have My Hate by Antione Leiris, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Audiobooks: The Mammy Series by Brendan O’Carroll, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, The World As We Know It by Joseph Monniger
Some of My Favorite Authors – Greg Iles, Sharon Bolton, Jennifer Chiaverini, Diane Gabaldon, Tiffany Baker, Brian Selznick (Juvenile Fiction), William Joyce (Juvenile Fiction).
And the List can go ON and ON……Feel free to follow me on Goodreads – I rate and provide commentary on everything I read.
Assistant Director since December 2018
I do the cataloging, maintain the card catalog, help with displays and program promotion and occasionally help at the circulation desk. Although I live in Jaffrey, I am very happy to be in such a friendly library and such a friendly town as Brookline!
My life before the library: I worked at the Jaffrey Public Library for many years as a library assistant. I recently earned my MLS (Master of Library Science) degree from the University of North Texas, in an online program affiliated with the Manchester City Library. I also spent many happy years attending Keene State College on a part time basis, finally graduating with a BA in Theatre Arts, Speech and Film in 1997.
My life outside the library: I enjoy long walks, volunteering for local theatre groups, and also volunteering for Jaffrey's new Park Theatre. I watch way too much TV. Favorite shows include anything British or PBS, especially Masterpiece Theatre. I also love to travel and have visited China, Italy, France, Bermuda and different places in Canada and the US. In November 2019 I visited Egypt (see photo).
Something interesting about me: I've done a lot of community and college theatre, and also performed in three professional shows with the Peterborough Players. I currently have earned 15 weeks toward a professional Actors' Equity card (you need 50 to get one).
My favorite reading: My fiction favorites include historical (especially World War II), and science and fantasy fiction. I also love a good mystery. For nonfiction, I enjoy biography, nature writing, books on film and theatre, and current affairs.
Favorite Books: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Look to the Mountain by LeGrand Cannon, Jr., and almost any old classic. But really, it's always the last one I've read!
Favorite Authors: Geraldine Brooks, Alan Furst, J.R.R Tolkien, Laurie King.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." -- George R.R. Martin.
"The best moments in reading are when you come across something--a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things--which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours." -- Alan Bennett, The History Boys
Life Before the Library
Life Outside the Library
Some of My Favorite Books
Outreach Coordinator since April 2015
Library Clerk since January 2015, Substitute since 2013
As Outreach Coordinator I am responsible for promoting and publicizing library events and programs, via our Website, Facebook, the local papers, etc. I am also responsible for planning and conducting adult programs.
Life before the Library
Born in Boston, raised in Nashua, spent summers and school vacations at my Grandparent’s in Brookline. Over 25 years as a retail manager and then bank manager. I drove across country and lived in California for a few years. A great learning experience, but New Hampshire is my home.
Favorite Books, Authors and Movies
JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, the books and the movies. George RR Martin and Game of Thrones. Kim Stanley Robinson and the Mars Trilogy. Isaac Asimov. Frank Herbert and the Dune series.
Hmm, do I want people to know these? Anything with cheese. And right now, House of Cards.
When I’m not at the Library
I love cooking, gardening, genealogy, reading and a good movie. I also love volunteering in Brookline. I am a member of the Brookline Lions club and I am Chairman of the Brookline History Committee and Chair of the Cemetery Trustees.
What I like most about the Library
Seeing people who have a life-long love of reading and books. Seeing kids become readers.
Something about me that may surprise you
My family on my Mother’s side has lived in Brookline since 1860.
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
~Robert F. Kennedy