Cambridge librarian retires, nurtured love of reading

At the O’Neill branch of the Cambridge Public Library, for many years, people would hear a kind voice asking children, “What’s the best part of your day and what’s the worst?”

It was likely librarian Cindy DiRusso, who recently retired after 40 years of helping avid readers young and old. Throughout her decades of service, DiRusso has been a respected figure among readers of all ages.

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Over 40 years, DiRusso forged a deep connection with the people of North Cambridge. DiRusso regards the readers who frequent the library as “close friends” and the O’Neill branch as a “home away from home”.

“I always try to be more than a librarian,” DiRusso said. “A lot of people have called me the touchstone of the neighborhood, and I feel more a part of the North Cambridge community than the community I live in.”

DiRusso’s career at Cambridge Public Library began on September 8, 1981, a few months after graduating from college with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She started out as a general librarian, then became a children’s librarian in 1982, replacing another pregnant colleague. Then, with work-life balance in mind, five years later, she transitioned to a librarian role. As a librarian, she worked four days a week at the O’Neill branch.

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