New staff, food demos at Hampton library

October 3, 2018

Annie Avondolio, the new children’s librarian at Hampton Community Library, is excited for the opportunity to share some new programs.

A new librarian and the return of a cooking demonstration class are happening at the Hampton Community Library this fall.

Suzanna Krispli, director of the Hampton Community Library, said she’s excited for the new children’s librarian Annie Avondolio’s “fresh take” on programming for that age group.

“With her background in art and enthusiasm for early literacy we believe that this will be a smooth transition for her, the children and the staff. We are looking forward to more creative programming in the winter, after Annie gets her ‘feet wet,’ ” said Krispli, who has been at the library for 12 years.

Avondolio, a former middle and high school art teacher in New York City, recently received her master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in library and information sciences.

“My focus is on the whole child development, physical, free motion, enrichment, literacy development. And to keep it fun and family-oriented,” said Avondolio, who also formerly taught art to children whose parents were incarcerated and/or in a shelter.

The O’Hara Township resident will continue with the library’s present programming such as the Baby/Toddler story time as well as Parachute Dance Party. The library offers a host of programs for the older child, too.

Krispli said Avondolio’s role will later expand to implement more programming for ages 3 to 10.

“While always having a need for literacy-based programs, we understand that the library plays a bigger role in teaching children about the world and their place in it. Her friendly smile and willingness to learn and help out will soon have her making friends in the Hampton community,” said Krispli.

Children’s programming schedules can be found at hamptoncommunitylibrary.org.

In addition to the new librarian, a popular program is also returning to the library after a long hiatus, said Krispli.

“Sharing with Sherry! A cooking demo!” will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the library.

Sherry Esser is not a professional chef, but a deep love of cooking and years of personal experience gives her some clout.

“I am a person with a passion for food and for cooking,” said Esser, of Gibsonia.

In addition to next week, there will be two more presentations on Nov. 8 and Dec. 13. She will walk the audience through a recipe, usually from scratch.

Esser had a newspaper food column in the early 1990s, where she interviewed local cooks for recipes. She also held a combined Bible study and cooking course in the 2000s called “Apples of Gold.”

She knows the hustle of life keeps many people from cooking at home, thinking it’s too time-consuming or hard, but a good 45 minutes can yield some worthwhile results.

“I want to bring home cooking back to the table and give the opportunity to know how to do it,” she said.

For example, instead of buying meatballs to go into a pasta dish, she said they are just as easy to make and there’s a big difference in taste.

Or learning how to make pasta is a useful skill. While someone may not do that every time they cook, at least they know how, she said.

October’s event will include her showing how to make homemade pasta and sauce. She plans to make pumpkin doughnuts for the November meeting and a Christmas-themed recipe for the following month.

Krispli said, based on response, they would like to continue it into next year.

Tasting will be at the end of the demonstration, she said.

Call the library to register at 412-684-1098.

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