Wareham Free Library director leaving for position in East Providence

By Matthew Bernat | Jul 21, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Wareham Free Library Director Michael Carlozzi will leave his position for a new job in East Providence this August.

The Wareham Free Library’s director, who was instrumental in helping put the library on the road to recertification, will leave his position in August for a new job in East Providence.

Michael Carlozzi was named director of the East Providence Library where he will lead a staff of 20 full-time employees serving a city of 47,000 people. A Providence resident, Carlozzi starts Aug. 20 and has no official end date yet as he works to finalize paperwork for Wareham’s recertification.

The library lost its state certification in 2014. That year, voters defeated a Proposition 2 1/2 override, which, if approved, would have provided money for several town agencies by raising property taxes. After it failed, the library’s budget was slashed from $295,637 in 2014 to $125,000 in 2015.

The cut forced the loss of certification as staff reduced hours and spending on new materials, meaning it couldn’t meet state requirements. Without certification, the library lost up to $15,000 in state funds, missed out on grant opportunities and lost access to the state’s library network, which had allowed patrons to borrow materials from across Massachusetts.

Carlozzi’s salary was funded in part through the efforts of the Wareham Library Foundation. The idea, he said, was to bring on a full-time director focused on recertification.

Carlozzi had been working in Canton Public Library as a technology and information services librarian when he was hired in 2016. The Wareham position provided him a chance to help the same library where he got his start.

“I worked here as a page through high school and college,” he said. “I saw an opportunity to help and it’s why I came back.”

Regaining recertification involved funds raised through the Wareham Library Foundation, assistance from the Friends of the Wareham Free Library and support from the library Board of Trustees and town officials, including Town Administrator Derek Sullivan, said Carlozzi.

“That’s what I’m most of proud of, coming here into this situation and being able to consensus build and direct all of the energy and various groups so we could move forward to a reasonable and productive goal,” said Carlozzi. “It’s been a heroic effort.”

Carlozzi credited library staff – “a skeleton crew,” he said – for working to keep library doors open 40 hours a week, a state requirement for certification. He noted with additional funds from the town two more staff members will soon be hired: a full-time reference librarian and circulation desk assistant.

Pending apporval, Carlozzi said the library is set to regain its certification in November. For patrons, that means they will once again be able to request materials from libraries across the state. Also, expanded hours and additional staff will better serve residents, he said.

“Whoever succeeds me is going to have an opportunity to transform the library going forward,” said Carlozzi. “Everybody is excited. It’s been almost four years and we finally turned the corner.”

Comments (9)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 21, 2018 14:12

The big exodus



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Jul 21, 2018 17:40

Best wishes to Michael Carlozzi, your determination and hard work while in Wareham has earned appreciation all the way to East Providence.



Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Jul 21, 2018 17:52

A heck of an accomplishment.  Very sorry to see him go.



Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 22, 2018 09:21

Heroic effort indeed. Who will come to Wareham to scrape and beg for money to fund their own salary? Vital services need to be properly funded.

Best wishes to Mr. Carlozzi, he made a silk purse from a sow's ear. Shout out to the dedicated Friends, Foundation and Trustees who stayed the course when their own town goverment pulled the rug out from under.



Posted by: WWreader | Jul 22, 2018 19:41

DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT. You have no idea what you are talking about.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 23, 2018 08:15

I see that he is shown outside of that secondary library.

 

I never got too into the whole two library debate.  All I recall was that there was all sorts of opposition to the small secondary one.  Many felt that it made no sense to have two because the town had a hard enough time keeping up with one.  Is my memory good?

 

If I owned a primary residence and a secondary residence and I couldn't afford and keep up with two houses, they both would be compromised.  Isn't that common sense?  With so many financial challenges, why are we diluting limited funds and resources between two libraries?  Why not focus on one primary library?



Posted by: Friends WFL | Jul 23, 2018 10:16

Wareham by the Sea, actually, by having Spinney, a smaller library with fewer costs associated with its operation, the Wareham Free Library system can use the hours Spinney is open in order to meet the MBLC requirements for certification. Spinney requires fewer staff to operate and the utilities are also less as the building is smaller. Certification was the Director's goal and with his combining data from the two libraries, we are on the road to recertification in the fall.  Thank you Michael for managing our libraries through the difficult period without certification, and the Friends will miss you! Best of luck in your new position.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jul 23, 2018 10:40

Thanks WFL - that does make sense.  My logic didn't consider the advantages of the smaller library.  If it helps regain Certification, it must be a good thing.  I learned something today!



Posted by: OnsetTogether | Jul 23, 2018 16:27

WBTS:

In June 2005, Spinney Memorial, Inc., Friends of the Wareham Free Library, Inc., and the Town of Wareham, acting by and through its Board of Selectmen sign a contract where Spinney Memorial Inc. donates a historic building in the village of Onset to the Friends for renovation as a branch of the public library. The historic Spinney building was for many years used as a meeting place for local scouts.

The Friends of the Wareham Free Library, Inc. began fundraising and over $700,000 was raised.  This included $120,000 in Community Preservation funds. The addition and renovation to the historic building was designed by Stephen Kelleher Architects and construction by R.P. Valois & Company was completed June, 2011.

At Town Meeting on April 23, 2012 voters accepted the Spinney Memorial Branch Library in Onset as a gift from the Friends of the Wareham Free Library.

The Friends continue to pay the operating costs of the branch until the Town is able to do so. Residents of Onset now have a library and municipal presence in the village and all the opportunities that this provides. The Wareham Free Library – Spinney Branch 259 Onset Avenue opened to the public on July 16, 2012.

http://www.warehamfreelibrary.org/library-history/



If you wish to comment, please login.