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Meet Inés Gonzalez-Romero

Updated: May 16

Q: Could you describe your role at the library? 

I'm a circulation assistant. My main job here at the WFPL is to help our patrons with their library accounts, manage the returned items, send requested items to other libraries, and prepare items that our patrons requested from other libraries.

At circulation, we are the very first people you see when you arrive. Our tasks may vary between providing general information, answering library service questions, and assisting with holds and pick-ups.

Q: You just won the Massachusetts Library Association Outstanding Paralibrarian of the Year award – congratulations! Can you share with us the story behind the award? 

I received an email from the MLA Para librarian committee, informing me about the award. I was pleased to learn that two other former and current WFPL workers had been nominated in the past. Being nominated itself is an honor, as it means you inspired a colleague to nominate you. 

After being announced as the winner, I was informed about who nominated me. Our excellent programming librarian, Allison Fry, the person responsible for many of the impressive and high-quality events at our library. Ally wrote a very moving nomination letter. She is the real star!

Q: You didn't go to school to become a library, so I'm curious ... What drew you to working at the Watertown Free Public Library?

I moved to Boston from London in 2016 and wanted to transition from my retail and logistic experience to a cultural and educational job. My first job was at the Museum of Science. During COVID, I was laid off and started working in a supermarket in March 2020. Although the supermarket was always profitable, we had to rethink everything to serve basic needs in a grocery store for everyone, which was a way of helping the community. I realized that helping people is a remedy for the harsh reality we live in. 

When I saw a job opening in my soon-to-be new town (Watertown), I didn't hesitate. As an immigrant, I have always relied on public libraries in every place I've lived. The two free hours on a computer with internet access helped me apply for jobs, communicate with people back home, and stay informed about my new environment. I took all my library cards from the places I lived to my interview to explain my story and connections with libraries. I am so grateful to my former supervisor, Katie Kottas, for believing in my story.

Q: What are some things about the Library that you would like patrons to know?

Public libraries in the US are more than just about academics or books. We want our library to be like the living room of your town, a place to relax after work or school. You can enjoy our comfortable chairs and use our Wi-Fi , find inspiration for your next dinner or borrow a DVD of a movie that's not on Netflix.

Q: Inés, you are an immigrant ... Could you share your journey to Watertown? 

I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I left my hometown when I was 22 and joined my parents who moved to Spain 4 years before me in search of a better economic opportunity. At the beginning of the 2000 Argentina suffered a financial crisis that forced hundreds of thousands of Argentinians to migrate.  I ended up living in Barcelona for almost 10 years. Then I moved to London for a job opportunity and in 2016 moved to Boston where my husband is from.


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