After working at the Rockville Centre Public Library for 27 years, Director Maureen Chiofalo has announced that she is retiring in September.
Chiofalo, who has been the director since 2006, began her career at the facility in 1986, as a part-time clerk. She worked in the Children’s Room for about nine years, then moved to the Adult Reference desk. When Gretchen Brown became director in 2000, Chiofalo was promoted to assistant director, and when Brown retired in 2005, Chiofalo became interim director, and then director.
“I grew up here,” she said. “I’m going to miss the people. After so many years, you form great attachments.”
Chiofalo, 66, a resident of Malverne, has many plans for her new-found free time: travel, volunteering, spending time with family and continuing her education.
“One of the places that we’re thinking of going is Tanzania for a safari,” she said. “I would love to do the northern European countries. I haven’t been there yet. Almost anyplace.”
Her daughter, Mary-Claire, is expecting twins in September, and Chiofalo plans on spending the beginning of her retirement with the newest members of her family.
“And I can catch up on a lot of books I want to read, and maybe learn how to play golf,” she said. “There’s a whole wide world out there.”
The library’s Board of Trustees is preparing to begin the search for a new director. There is currently no assistant director, so having someone fill in for Chiofalo if the board cannot find a replacement before she leaves would be difficult.
“We’re working throughout the summer,” said board President Eileen Burke Bucaria. “We have a lot of possible interview dates set up.”
According to Bucaria, whoever replaces Chiofalo has some big shoes to fill. “She has been a tremendous director,” Bucaria said. “She has overseen a couple of big capital projects. She has tremendous ability to work with the community, she works well with the staff, she works well with the board. Sometimes someone has one of those talents, and she has all of them.”
Chiofalo said that the capital projects she worked on were among her most significant achievements. “I would say that I have accomplished a lot with maintaining the building, because it is 50 years old,” she said. “We put in a new HVAC, we did a partial roof replacement, we put in new ceilings and lighting and other mundane kinds of things. And it could not have happened as seamlessly as it did without the staff being so flexible and being such a team group that I could rely on to come through for everybody.”
Bucaria said she hopes to have a replacement soon, and already has a list of potential candidates. But she is sad to see Chiofalo go. “As a human being, I’m really happy for her,” she said. “As president of the board, I wish she’d stay forever.”
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