Appreciation:James Matarazzo, Library Trustee Dies

Longtime library supporter and trustee of the Winthrop Public Library James Matarazzo passed away April 17 surrounded by his family at the age of 77.

For over 50 years he worked at Simmons College in the School of Library and Information Science.

Said colleague Shelley Quezada Jim had a tremendous impact on many hundreds of librarians both in our state, nationally and abroad. His impact and legacy on the profession he so loved will continue to be felt among those who remember his generous spirit.

The list of promotions, honors and awards Jim accumulated over the years shows how highly regarded he was by his students, his colleagues and the academy:

Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science Dean and Professor Emeritus 2002 – Present

Priscilla McKee Award for Service to Simmons College 2001

Dean and Professor 1994 – 2002

Professor 1980 – 2002

Professor and Associate Dean 1980 – 1988

Associate Professor and Associate Dean 1974 – 1980

Assistant Professor 1970 – 1973

Instructor 1969 – 1970

Fellow of the Special Library Association, SLA Professional Award (1983 and 1991)

SLA Hall of Fame 2015; John Cotton Dana Award 2016

Vice President and Secretary of the H.W. Wilson Foundation, Inc.

He was born on Jan. 4, 1941, in Stoneham to the late Angelo Michael and Anna (Finamore) Matarazzo. He lived in East Boston until the age of 5 when his family moved to Winthrop into a house that his father built. He attended Winthrop High School, Class of 1959, and then attended Boston College. He earned two masters degrees at Boston College and Simmons College. He was awarded his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

On Sept. 3, 1966, he married Alice Marie Keohane. A prominent academic with a global reputation, he initially worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1965-1969). He then taught at the School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, for 49 years, where he was a professor and later dean (1994-2002). Upon retirement as Dean, he was awarded the status of dean and professor emeritus and continued to teach and publish until just before he died. He published twelve books and numerous articles. He was also vice-president and board secretary of the H.W. Wilson Foundation in New York. He was a visiting professor at Wayne State University, the University of Washington, the University of Arizona, and Texas Women’s’ University. He received many professional awards and fellowships in his long academic career and delivered presentations and lectures worldwide. He was a loving and dedicated husband and father, dedicated to his family and his community, and loved by his many friends, students, and colleagues across the world.

He is survived by his wife Alice of 51 years; his son the Rev. Dr. James M Matarazzo, Jr., of Oxford, England; his daughter Mrs. Susan Eileen Abrego and his son-in-law Dr. José Antonio Abrego, of Lynnfield; his granddaughter Katherine Sophia Abrego; his brother Ronald Matarazzo, of Winthrop; his sister Marie Matarazzo, of Winthrop;  as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his beloved brother Michael Kenneth Matarazzo (1943-2010).

Services were held April 21.

Donations may be made in Jim’s name to the School of Library and Information Science, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115  ( or to the Winthrop Public Library, 2 Metcalf Square, Winthrop, MA 02152 (

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