RPL Director Diana Luongo Aims to Create a Pleasing Environment for Library Lovers

By Melissa Moore-Randall

For many, a public library is a place that offers resources and a quiet place for reading and working. Revere Public Library Director DIana Luongo is leading her staff to do just this.  Luongo says most of her days are spent with staff brainstorming and collaborating ways to enhance the library. “This library has been off the map for a couple of years now, and my primary goal is to bring it back to life. I want the library to be a safe, inclusive space for all Revere residents to come and feel comfortable. Part of that is creating an aesthetically pleasing environment, and feeling welcome by our staff. Customer Service is a huge part of our job, and I aim for excellence,” said Luongo.

Luongo, a graduate of Salem State where she earned a B.A. in Business majoring in Management and minoring in Psychology, is currently a graduate student at Simmons working on a Master’s degree in Library Science. (MLIS).  Other than trying to bring exciting new programs to the Library and studying to earn her Masters, she is a mom to a 16 year old and 2 ½ year old.  Diana and her husband, George, keep busy with Nicholas, a three sport athlete and member of his high school’s ROTC, and 2 ½ year old Hanna, who is a mini dancer, gymnast and ice skater in the Learn to Skate program.

Children enjoying an outdoor event at the Revere Public Library.

In addition to Luongo, she also has several staff members at the Library.  “Krystee Maniscalco is our Children’s Librarian. Her role is to manage the children’s collection materials. Basically making sure we take outdated books off our shelves to create space for new, current books and materials. She is also in charge of programming for the children. Either she hosts them or she brings in other vendors to perform. She also handles all our social media, including a monthly newsletter which gets sent out via email to our patrons who sign up, and is featured in the Revere Journal”

“Rhea Heaven is our Technical Services Librarian. To keep it simple, she catalogues all our books, runs the interlibrary loans services, database management and organizes all our shelving. She is our behind the scenes librarian!”

“Ross Croghan is our Collections Development Specialist. He handles all our collections, which includes books, online resources, and more. He also keeps our website up to date. We do not currently have an Adult Services Librarian, so he steps in a lot and assists in that area of services.”

“Lisa Ferrara, Rachid Doukali, and Madison Yeomans are our newest employees. They are all assistant librarians. Their roles are to assist in all functions of the library. They play an intricate role in the day to day functions of the library, and work face to face with our patrons. They answer phones, help with computers/fax/copy/prints, and they circulate our items. They assist the patrons with locating books and other materials, and provide many other services”.

Due to renovations at the Library on the main floor, many of the programs are geared towards children including toddler story time, movie nights, free play, and more. They also offer hotspots to patrons which is one of their newer services.

There are many upcoming events and programs the Library will offer.  “We have tons of programs scheduled on our calendar for February, but even more exciting is our new additions to the Library. Over the next couple months, we will be offering virtual reality and a new makerspace area. Makerspace is basically making something out of nothing. We will be including a 3D printer and other tools to assist in building and creating. Makerspace is an excellent STEM centered learning tool. It will give our patrons the opportunity to exercise their creativity and expand their intellectual and learning skills. Keep your eyes out for these new added technology features coming soon. We are currently renovating our main floor and working on a newly designed (YA) young adult space for those ages 12-18. The Revere Public Library has never had a space designated solely for YA, or a Young Adult Librarian who specializes in collections and programming for our patrons. One of my goals is to change that by bringing in someone who has the skills and qualifications to run and promote our new young adult space.”

The Revere Public Library began operating on November 6, 1880. When a fire destroyed Revere Town Hall, the Library was also heavily damaged.  Thanks to a campaign from the Revere Women’s Club and the Revere Journal, Revere received a grant from philanthropist and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie in the amount of $20,000 for the construction of a new library building.  The Women’s Club raised funds that were used to furnish the two main reading rooms of the new library. With one reading room dedicated to the adult collection and the other reserved for children’s books.

According to its website, “The library building holds a significant place in the history of the City of Revere. It is an excellent example of the freedom of design and commitment to service that the Carnegie libraries across America attempted to represent. The interior of this landmark building illustrates no less grandeur of style and attention to craftsmanship. The hand rubbed oak paneling and millwork are of a day gone by, and anxiously await the opportunity to once again be part of an active and responsive public library.The Revere Public Library remains one of the few Carnegie buildings to have never undergone expansion and it is hoped that a tasteful, well planned addition will make this jewel of a building shine brighter in its new setting.”

The Revere Public Library is located at 179 Beach Street. It is open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. You can also learn more by visiting the website at https://www.reverepubliclibrary.org.

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