It may be an understatement to say that Clevell “Cle” Roseboro II has an expansive point of view when it comes to public libraries.
Consider this observation: “When I imagine the possibilities, my mind naturally thinks that Meriden Public Libraries will evolve in essence as like a physical and virtual Spaceship, enabling our patrons to take-off and explore anywhere in the information galaxy.”
That’s forward-thinking and likely a good fit for Meriden. The recently hired Roseboro starts Monday as director of the city’s public library.
Libraries today face all sorts of challenges, including those brought on by the advance of technology. Roseboro says he sees that as an opportunity to use technology to make the library easier to use for patrons. He would like, for example, library patrons to have the ability to create their own avatars and personalized accounts when accessing the library’s automated computer system. Roseboro says he wants a “virtual online library map,” that would enable people to find material without needing the assistance of a librarian.
The library will not have more room in terms of physical space. The City Council last year passed on a $9.3 million proposal that would have added 9,000 square feet to the 45,000 square foot building, instead approving a $7.8 million renovation plan.
Roseboro comes to Meriden from Willington’s public library, where he’d been library director since September. The Meriden job gives him the chance to oversee the renovation. He’d been involved in a renovation project when he was dean of library services at St. Augustine’s University.
“Very few librarians get to do a library renovation twice,” he observed. The renovation is the first for the Meriden library in more than 40 years. Updates include more room in the children’s section.
There’s reason to expect that Roseboro’s approach will serve Meriden well. Like everyone else trying to do just about anything these days, he will be contending with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. He’ll start a couple of weeks before the library is set to reopen, which at the moment is scheduled for July 6. It has been closed since March, and it will be a welcome sign to see it back in service.