Meet the Staff

Bina Williams

Bina Williams

Librarian II, Youth Services

How long have you worked at BPL?
22 years

What are your responsibilities?
I do reader’s advisory, offer story hours, lead craft programs, review and order new books, coordinate summer reading lists, look into grant opportunities, and do community outreach through the schools and other civic groups. I am a member of the Coretta Scott King Awards community, The American Library Association, The Association for Library Service to Children, and the Young Adult Library Services Association.

What’s your favorite thing about working at the library?
The diversity of our patrons is the best part of our community. I adore working with the littlest children who just soak up the stories and songs at a story hour. During the COVID 19 quarantine, I continue my story time (Little Bears) via Zoom which lets me see the attendees. It warms my heart to see them and hear them! I created an art program for them called Little Hands where I am constantly amazed by the innate creativity that the children have. Process not Product! I am trying to figure out how to take this program online too.

What is your favorite book?
As a child, I loved The Secret garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The next book I adored was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I reread books annually for many years… And I do adore Harry Potter….and then there’s….. so many books, so little time…

Favorite genre?
I love to read across genres—I used to read mysteries like eating popcorn but then my tastes expanded, partly due to my career shift from bookseller to librarian. I don’t think of myself as a fantasy reader in the fairies and unicorns wing of the genre, but when I look at the many children’s novels I have enjoyed, a fair number are fantasy. But, of course, my true passion is picture books.

Favorite food?
Lobster.

Your hobbies?
Well, my career is also my hobby in a way. I love to meet children’s and YA authors and illustrators and their editors and publishers. I love to read picture books just for the joy of the art combined with a rich story. I have been very active on some major awards committees for the Association For Library Service To Children. Yes, it was a lot of work each time, but also a lot of fun. I also have been able to share these passions as an adjunct professor of Children and/or Young Adult Literature at a couple of local universities.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself.
I used to be a member of a Vintage dance group that taught and performed historic ballroom dances from the early 19th century through the 1930s! We either bought vintage clothes or made our own historically accurate ballgowns and accessories. I even made a corset! Perusing vintage clothing stores and finding old sheet music, etiquette books and dance manuals made it all the more fun.

Ron Fontaine

Ron Fontaine

Head of Reference Services

How long have you worked at BPL?
24 years.

What’s your favorite thing about working at the library?
Answering reference questions and helping patrons find books. If I make them happy, then I’m happy, too!

What is your favorite book?
Being a lover of popular music of the 20th Century, and a Reference Librarian, my favorite is a reference book entitled “American Popular Songs from the Revolutionary War to the Present” by David Ewen.

Favorite genre?
For fiction, it’s Science Fiction and Horror.

Favorite food?
Pistachio ice cream!

Your hobbies?
Collecting vinyl records, especially 45rpm Rock ‘n Roll and Rhythm and Blues discs of the 1950s and 1960s. Also, watching old movies and TV shows made before 1970.

Tell us some surprising things about yourself.
1) I have a double: Actor and playwright, Wallace Shawn (Princess Bride, Clueless, Young Sheldon). It was a thrill meeting him!
2) This year marks my 40th year as a librarian!