Library Director adding new positions, bookmobile
The Revere Public Library is adding two new positions and will have an increased budget for capital improvements in Fiscal Year 2023. Library Director Diana Luongo appeared before the City Council’s Ways & Means Subcommittee on Wednesday evening as part of the FY23 budget hearings, highlighting recent accomplishments and plans for the next year.
Luongo pointed to recent improvements that have been made to the physical condition of the library and a revitalized focus on staffing. “When I inherited the library right before Covid, it was a mess; there were a lot of old items piled up and junk,” said Luongo. “Some of it we successfully auctioned off and that [money] went back into the general fund. We cleared out the library completely and refurbished the old floors and brought them back to life.”
Luongo also noted that when she took over as director there wasn’t enough staffing in place to successfully run programs for the community. She said she was able to work with the union to add some new roles and responsibilities for staff to help create new positions that could provide new programming.
In FY23, Luongo said, the library has two new positions – a young adult librarian and an adult librarian – in the budget to help expand services and programming. Those positions will be paid for with state grants the library typically receives each year.
The library will also have an increased budget for capital improvements and supplies this year, and the FY23 capital budget includes funding for a bookmobile to bring library services to other parts of the community. “We’re trying to get back to our staffing levels from pre-pandemic and also giving some additional funds so they can expand their programming and services,” said city Finance Director Richard Viscay.
Viscay said there was feedback from the library trustees indicating that Revere is one of the lowest funded libraries per capita in the state. “We certainly don’t want that moniker,” said Viscay.
Councillor-at-Large Dan Rizzo, who is chair of the Ways & Means Subcommittee, said he would like to see either a new library or an expansion to the existing library down the line. “I’ve always viewed the library as the center of our community,” said Rizzo. “You look around at some other communities, and there are some beautiful libraries – not to take anything away from the [Revere] library – I think it has a lot of charm, but its old, needs ‘TLC’ and needs to be expanded.”