Peter Struzziero started in his position as director of Winthrop Public Library on Monday, pledging to make the facility â€œa center of activityâ€ in the town.
Struzziero was selected to the position from a field of a dozen candidates during an application and three-interview process led by Town Manager James McKenna and Assistant to the Town Manager Joseph Domelowicz Jr.
Struzziero was previously a reference librarian and the head of teen services at the Scituate Town Library. He has held positions at libraries in Methuen, Andover, Amesbury, and Newton. The Winthrop position is the first library directorship of his career.
Struzziero holds Bachelorâ€™s degrees in Communications and Philosophy from UMass/Lowell and a Masterâ€™s degree in Library Sciences from Simmons College, a school with a nationally renowned program in that field.
â€œWhat I hope to bring to Winthrop is a more active library,â€ said Struzziero. â€œI want to make it one of the centers of activity in the town. I want people to know that they can come to the library for a lot more than just books â€“ that things arenâ€™t the way that they were 20 years ago in library services.â€
He would like to build on the current childrenâ€™s programs at the library and create a new home for teenagers.
â€œThere is not a big presence of teens in this building and thatâ€™s something Iâ€™d like to change,â€ said Struzziero. â€œIâ€™d like someday for there to a be a teen room with more services there.â€
He intends to create a new Web site for the library and a large social media presence. â€œIâ€™m going to hit the pavement and let people know who we are, why weâ€™re here, what we have to offer residents, and how things have changed over the years â€“ how weâ€™re not just a quiet reading room like everybodyâ€™s old memories of the library.â€
Residents can look forward with excitement to a Star Wars-oriented program at the library.
â€œIâ€™ve been doing Star Wars programs in public libraries the past three years and Iâ€™ve been to over 75 libraries in Massachusetts,â€ said Struzziero. â€œI expect weâ€™ll be seeing a Star Wars program in the Winthrop Public Library. I have a program called the Star Wars Symposium.
Struzziero has a strong Winthrop connection. His father, Alexander, grew up in the town.
â€œThis is my fatherâ€™s hometown,â€ said Struzziero. â€œI came here very often as a kid, visiting the beaches and walking on Pleasant Street. He was part of the Coast Guard Auxiliary so I spent a lot of time on the docks here. So when I saw the job open up in Winthrop, I jumped out of my chair. If I could have picked a place to start to cut my teeth as a director, it would have been Winthrop.â€
â€œ Struzziero succeeds Alan Thibeault, who left his position as the director of the library in September, 2011. Ann Gutting had been serving as the interim leader of the library.