Alumna Carol Russo Finds Calling as Community Library Manager, Senior of Northwest Regional Library

Carol Russo
As a child growing up in New York, Carol Russo (M.S. ’99) spent a lot of time in the library. Today, as the Community Library Manager, Senior of the Northwest Regional Library of Broward County, she spends her time quite similarly. These days, of course, she’s not just sitting around and reading. Russo works hard to manage 72,000 square feet of library space.

However, Russo didn’t always expect to work in the library system. She began college right after high school with a goal to become a teacher, but she stopped after two years because she knew her heart wasn’t in it. Deciding that she would return to college once she knew what she wanted to be when she grew up, Russo moved to Florida with her family and spent the next 10 years in a variety of jobs. She eventually secured a position as a clerk for Broward County Libraries and realized that this was what she wanted to do for her career. Russo decided to earn her Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts and History from Florida Atlantic University and went on to earn her MLIS from Florida State University.

Russo explains, “[My MLIS] has assisted me in earning promotions, first because an MLIS is required in professional classifications in most libraries, and second because FSU is an impressive school and a degree from there is always a positive mark on one’s resume!”

She continued to climb her way up the ladder with Broward County Libraries, working as an Assistant Circulation Supervisor, a Circulation Supervisor and a Library Branch Manager. In her current position as a Community Library Manager, Senior at the Northwest Regional Library in Coral Springs, FL, Russo has a wide range of responsibilities. On any given day, you may find her working on writing projects like performance appraisals, planning the opening of the new Creative Station, speaking with customers or reading and responding to numerous emails.

Russo shares, “Those people that meet me at parties and say, ‘Oh, a librarian’s job must be so quiet!’ are in for a surprise when I tell them that libraries are dynamic, busy places – very different from the libraries that many of us grew up in!”

While each day is packed with responsibilities, Russo loves what she does because she knows what an integral role the library plays in the community and how much the library is able to enrich customers’ lives.

In her spare time, Russo participates with the Florida Library Association’s GLBT Library Services member group. Additionally, her and her wife are self-proclaimed dog show people and regularly show their two Dalmatians. Their dog Slugger is an AKC Grand Champion and was the #20 Dalmatian in the country two years ago. Their other dog Magic is an AKC Champion who is currently working on her Grand Championship. The four travel mostly in Florida at least one weekend per month and have also traveled to Oklahoma and Missouri to participate in national shows.

To learn more about the MLIS program at Florida State, follow this link.