The library’s sixth director, Stanford Warshasky, passed away on June 15, 2019 at the age of 96. He served as director of the Silas Bronson Library from 1972 until 1989, overseeing the computerization of the library’s circulation procedures, increasing the number of spaces in the library’s parking lot, and ensuring that the library’s collections kept up with changing demands. He was hailed as an innovator at the time of his retirement, praised for increasing the range of services, programs, and materials to meet the many needs of Waterbury’s diverse community.
Serving the public was Warshasky’s mission as a librarian, reflecting upon his retirement that he had “enjoyed being of assistance to people looking to improve the quality of their life in some way” and that “the library is a place where anyone can come to learn how to improve themselves.”
In 1985, Warshasky received the Connecticut Librarian of the Year award from the Connecticut Library Association in recognition of his work to improve and extend good library service.
During his tenure as the library’s director, Warshasky was a vocal advocate for the library, campaigning for the City to increase its funding of the library. He often noted that the Silas Bronson Library was the most underfunded public library in Connecticut. Warshasky oversaw the closure of three of the library’s five branches due to insufficient funding and inadequate staffing levels. Thanks to his efforts, however, the library’s professional staff saw their wages increased to levels equal to those at other public libraries, and staffing levels were eventually increased.
Warshasky was also an advocate and tutor for Literacy Volunteers of Greater Waterbury, establishing space in the main library for that organization, launching a relationship that has proved beneficial to the public served by both organizations.
Warshasky served as chairman of the Advisory Council on Cable TV for Middlebury, Plymouth, and Waterbury in 1975, and as president of Region One Cooperating Library Service Unit in 1977, promoting regional library cooperative services.
Prior to leading the Silas Bronson Library, Warshasky served as deputy director of the Mohawk Valley Library System in Schenectady, NY; director of the New London Public Library in New London, CT; and head librarian at the Montgomery County Library in Rockville, MD. Warshasky was born in Kansas City, MO on November 14, 1922 and was a graduate of the Columbia Library School, Columbia University.
July 15, 2019