Celebrating 50 Years of Dedication: Montgomery County Bids Farewell to Retiring Library Director

County Executive Marc Elrich recognized retiring Montgomery County Public Libraries director Anita Vassallo in his weekly community update for her 50 years of dedicated service.

Vassallo, who celebrated her 50th anniversary in the MCPL system last April, joined County Chief Administrative Officer Rich Madaleno at Wednesday’s weekly media briefing (video below).

Elrich wrote:

Anita’s decades of service and leadership have been instrumental in shaping our library system into a vibrant hub for the community.

Anita began working in MCPL libraries more than 50 years ago when she was still in high school. She followed the advice of her mother, who told her she should get a job in the library based on the amount of time she spent there as a student. Five decades later, it turns out her mother offered very good advice.

Anita has seen the department change significantly over the years and decades. As we always say, “The libraries have more than just books.”

Most of the money now spent on new materials goes to digital properties rather than traditional books. Under Anita’s guidance, MCPL has prioritized preschool reading proficiency, prepared teenagers for college and the workforce and facilitated digital inclusion for non-English speakers.

Libraries have been essential meeting places for community groups and fierce advocates for the right to read any material on behalf of the marginalized and often overlooked. They are crucial to helping everyone improve themselves and continue their education at any age.

I want to thank Anita for her work and wish her well in retirement—if she can stay out of the library.

Vassallo grew up in the Woodmoor neighborhood of Silver Spring and often visited the former Four Corners library as a child. She later worked at both the Four Corners and White Oak libraries before becoming a full-time MCPL employee in 1974.

Photo: © connel_design – stock.adobe.com / Montgomery County Graphic

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