Letter: Wilton Library assistant director is retiring

Mary Anne Mendola Franco, fifth from left, is retiring from Wilton Library. She is shown here with library Executive Director Elaine Tai-Lauria and members of the Wilton Kiwanis Club.

Mary Anne Mendola Franco, fifth from left, is retiring from Wilton Library. She is shown here with library Executive Director Elaine Tai-Lauria and members of the Wilton Kiwanis Club.

Janet Crystal / Wilton Library

To the Editors:

After 24 years of an outstanding career and loyal service to Wilton Library, Mary Anne Mendola Franco, assistant director - technology and private events, will step down at the end of this month.

Mary Anne’s tenure at Wilton Library (WLA) is indeed emblematic of the library’s growth and evolution. She often recalls that her career at WLA began as a part-time administrative assistant and as her appreciation and love for the library grew, she decided to pursue a master of library science degree. Along with that accomplishment came increasing job responsibilities that enabled her to work in almost every department of the library. She also directly contributed to many of the awards that Wilton Library received, including two Connecticut Library Association awards for Excellence in Public Service.

Mary Anne led numerous technical initiatives in our library while also engaging with the community as the development coordinator during WLA’s Capital Campaign, computer software trainer, network services manager, and eventually as assistant director - technology and private events. She also oversaw many library operation initiatives over the years, and most recently assisted with COVID compliance. During her tenure, she also assisted countless library patrons at the reference desk, responded to their emails, was a frequent coordinator of events, and certainly a perennial library greeter among many other duties.

In so many ways, Mary Anne was an “ambassador” for our library, representing WLA on various professional library committees at the state level as well participating in local civic organizations. Mary Anne joined the Kiwanis Club of Wilton in 2014, quickly became an active board member, and recently concluded her term as president of the club.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention Mary Anne’s recruiting endeavors. One candidate was her husband, Michael Franco, who has been a faithful volunteer for many projects over the years. During the early days of the pandemic, she recruited his assistance in producing Wilton Library’s donation of 500 face shields for the frontline healthcare staff at Norwalk Hospital.

Indeed, it is with mixed feelings that we at Wilton Library must bid farewell to one of our most devoted colleagues. Her support and contributions to our library have been immense and we have all been beneficiaries of her talents, hard work and dedication.

Regretfully, the pandemic has prevented us from hosting a reception during which our patrons could express their best wishes to her. Therefore, please join us in extending our thanks and appreciation to Mary Anne for her years of outstanding service to Wilton Library and to our community.

Mary Anne, on behalf of the staff, Board of Trustees, and the patrons of Wilton Library, we wish you much happiness in your retirement. As the great poet T.S. Eliot wrote “Every moment is a fresh beginning,” so all the best for your next chapter.

Elaine Tai-Lauria

Executive Director

Wilton Library