If he’s not the most dynamic and innovative librarian in the country, he’s in the conversation or he’s starting one.
Peter Struzziero, director of the Winthrop Public Library, had the honor of speaking at the national conference and exhibition of the American Library Association (ALA) in Las Vegas. The ALA is the oldest and largest library association with more than 62,000 members.
Struzziero,who holds degrees from UMass/Lowell and Simmons College, made a presentation entitled, Stand Up and Shout: The Millennial Leader on Changing Direction.” His co-presenter was a colleague from Salem State University.
“We presented on the changing of the field in libraries and the rise to leadership quickly,” said Struzziero. “It’s a different era than it used to be. Library budgets have been cut and staff has diminished across the country. But people need libraries because of the economic downturn. They want different things at the library.”
Struzziero says he’s part of “a new breed that has just emerged with a different education than librarians in the past.”
It wasn’t the first time that Struzziero – who at 31 is the second youngest library director in Massachusetts – has been a presenter. He’s addressed the Mass. Librarian Association five times and he’s been a presenter at the New England Library Association four times.
Struzziero became the Winthrop library director in July, 2013. He’s proud of his accomplishments.
“The programming numbers are up. Our circulation is up. We’re bringing people back in having new types of programs and services. And we’re working on fixing the building up a lot.”
He said that there is a new Friends of the Library group led by Ron Bergman.
“We’ve also created a new Web site for the library. We’re having the Boston Public Library come in and digitize some of our archives. So we’re going to have a second Web site with historic documents, photos, and artifacts for people to see. It’s going to be called the Winthrop Digital Heritage.”
Struzziero said that Town Manager James McKenna and the Town Council have been supportive of the library’s growth and development.
One change this summer is an extension of operating hours in the children’s room at the library. Town Councilor James Letterie advocated for the additional hours on the schedule.
“The children’s room is now open Wednesday and Friday mornings at 10 as well as the rest of the schedule,” said Struzziero. “It used to be a 1 p.m. opening.”
It’s been an exciting year overall for Peter Struzziero. The town’s library leader was married in February. His new wife, Jen, is a children’s librarian on the South Shore.
“It’s been a big year,” said Struzziero.