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Meet Michael Alvarez, NYPL's Bronx Library Center Network Manager
5/2/2009 - Michael Alvarez is the Bronx Library Center Network Manager of The New York Public Library. The Bronx Library Center Network is comprised of the Bronx Library Center, serving as the main library in the Bronx, and 11 neighborhood branch libraries.
Alvarez has been with The New York Public Library for 24 years and has worked in 32 different locations within the system. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Baruch College and a Master of Library Science from Pratt Institute. Alvarez started as a page at the Webster Library in 1984 and worked his way up through various positions, such as a part-time clerk at the Yorkville Library and then as a trainee at the Inwood Library. Upon graduating from library school he became a librarian at the Riverside Library, commuting to and from work on roller skates during the transit strike. He later served as Supervising Librarian at the Washington Heights and Hamilton Grange branches.
In 2001 Alvarez was appointed Regional Librarian of the Northern Manhattan Region, overseeing five branches. Then in 2003 he became the District Librarian of Northern Manhattan and Harlem, overseeing nine branches. In 2005 he was named Chief Librarian of the Bronx Library Center, which opened its doors to the public on January 17, 2006. The next year, along with his team at the Bronx Library Center, Alvarez won the Library’s Maher Stern Award for Excellence in Community Service. In September 2008 he assumed his current position as the Bronx Library Center Network Manager.
What are your favorite books?
Tony Dungy, Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, & Priorities of a Winning Life
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Bruce Tulgan, H.O.T Management: Hands-On Transactional
What are your favorite movies?
Fireproof, directed by Alex Kendrick
Sleepless in Seattle, directed by Nora Ephron
Michael English, Michael English
Eddie Palmieri, The Sun of Latin Music
What are you currently working on?
Supporting my Site Managers, as they continue to work closely with neighborhood agencies in making their libraries the center of their communities. Helping them realize their good creative ideas, as they meet the growing needs of their users in spite of the declining economy.
Why do you love The New York Public Library?
I love the Library because it allows us to be the great equalizer in society, as we freely offer our bountiful resources: books, CDs and DVDs, dynamic programs, and services—to everyone who desires them, regardless of their station in life. The satisfaction that I feel in serving the public is priceless.