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Revere and Winthrop consider sharing library director

Proposal designed to save money

Revere and Winthrop are considering sharing a public library director as one way to promote innovation and cut costs in their library services.

The proposal, developed by Winthrop town manager James McKenna and former Revere mayor Thomas G. Ambrosino, is the subject of a memo of understanding the two placed before their respective library trustee boards. Revere’s new mayor, Daniel Rizzo, supports the plan.

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Revere and Winthrop would equally split the cost of the director’s salary, while Revere as the larger community would pick up the costs of benefits.

The director’s hours would be split evenly between the communities, each of which has a single library building.

Should the plan go forward, it would help blaze a new trail for communities looking to share services.

‘People may be patronizing libraries as much for the services they provide, such as the use of technology and cultural events, as for the books. I think we have to be a little more innovative.’

James McKenna Winthrop town manager
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Celeste Bruno, communications specialist for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, said the agency knows of only one other instance in which two state communities with separate libraries shared a director: Medway and Franklin did so for about two years through last June 30.

Three other sets of communities also operate a regional library that is run by a shared director, including the towns of Hamilton and Wenham, which were the first to adopt that arrangement in 2001.

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