After 25 years of service for the Boston Public Library, Roslindale branch head librarian Rebecca Manos retired on July 31. However, she didn’t start out her career as a librarian.
Growing up in Falmouth Becky didn’t know what she wanted to do for a career. She attended Gordon College where she was a Biblical Studies major. While at Gordon, she took some education courses. Becky then came to Jamaica Plain to be a youth worker at St. John’s Episcopal Church. She also taught preschool and decided to get a master’s degree in early childhood education from Wheelock College. She then taught grade two and K2 at St. Joseph School in Roxbury.
However, her trajectory all changed one day in Jamaica Plain.
“I visited the Connolly Branch Library to get picture books while I was teaching kindergarten,” she said. “I loved the peacefulness of the library. I worked as a library assistant for two years at Washington Village Branch in South Boston.”
While working there, Becky wanted to start a summer reading program, but because she didn’t have a library science degree required by the Boston Public Library system, she wasn’t able to do any children’s program.
So Becky decided to go back to school and get a master’s degree in library science from Simmons College. After graduation, she worked at the Charlestown Branch from 1996 to 1997 and at the Dudley Branch from 1997 to 2001 as a children’s librarian. The children’s section in the Dudley Branch was redesigned during her tenure with support from the Rey Fund. Becky also visited neighboring schools and hosted classes at the library, and enjoyed ordering children’s books and managing the collection.
Becky then took the leap to become the branch librarian at the Parker Hill Branch in 2001, where she worked for 13 years, before coming to the Roslindale branch in 2014.
“My greatest joy was getting to know the patrons individually, children, teens, and adults,” she said. “Being part of a local community; patrons, staff, the Friends, community organizations. I also enjoyed the annual Posada Navideña at the Roslindale Branch. My favorite activity as a branch librarian was having an adult book discussion group.”
Speaking of books, Becky doesn’t have a favorite book, but she tends to enjoy historical fiction. “I love picture books, especially of Eric Carle’s style,” she said. “I read the New Living Translation of the Bible daily.”
As for her plans for her retirement, Becky already has a to-do list.
“I want to continue making mosaics, painting, and enjoying doing other crafts,” she said. “We will be moving to Falmouth where I look forward to spending time with family, visiting the library, finding a new church, making friends, going to the beach, relaxing, and reading. Eventually, I may work part-time in a library, become part of a Friends Group, or lead art workshops.”