WOODBURY – As the reference and technology librarian for the Woodbury Public Library, Tom Borysiewicz, whose last day on the job was Dec. 22, helped move the building into the future.
Borysiewicz helped the town save money by centralizing printers, and eventually making that technology wireless. Borysiewicz also installed a computer lab so he could teach classes and give 1-on-1 instruction. Borysiewicz also digitalized the Woodbury Public Library’s historic documents and archives.
But the biggest hit with residents in town during Borysiewicz’s three years in Woodbury may have been the most mundane.
“When I started, people would ask if we had a fax machine,” said Borysiewicz, who begins a similar position with the Bethel Public Library on Jan. 8. “The opportunity presented us to put one in very easily, so we decided to do it.”
Borysiewicz said a fax machine is not thought as something anybody needs anymore. But the requests for a fax machine were genuine.
“You don’t think of a fax machine as a thing you need anymore,” Borysiewicz said. “But I do 4, 5 or more faxes a week. You wouldn’t think of it in 2017.”
But Borysiewicz’s time with the Woodbury Public Library will be known for more than just technological advancement. Borysiewicz was also known as an excellent teacher who could patiently work with people of all ages.
“He is amazing with kids, with teens, with middle-age, and seniors,” said Sue Piel, Director of the Woodbury Public Library. “He’s a great teacher, great 1-on-1, and great in the labs. I doubt we will find someone like him, but I’ll do my best to look for him.”
Piel said the town is trying to fill the position, and that the deadline for applications was this past Wednesday. Interviews will take place the week between Christmas and New Year’s.
And if the right candidate does not emerge, Piel said the search for Borysiewicz’s replacement will start over.
“He’s like the trifecta of a reference and technology librarian because he’s got the reference, he’s got the technology, and he also loves Woodbury history,” Piel said of Borysiewicz. “I’m looking for someone who had got those things, and also has to have a pretty darn good personality.”
“It took us a while to find someone as good as Tom,” said Woodbury First Selectman Bill Butterly, who stopped by to say good-bye to Borysiewicz on Friday. “There aren’t many people like Tom in this world. He’s easy to work with, and he’s done well here.”
While Butterly kiddingly told Borysiewicz that he forgave him long enough for leaving to come over to say good-bye, he added that he doesn’t necessarily like to lose talent to other towns. But Butterly said it does happen, but in this case, Borysiewicz left to work closer to his family.
“We get criticized if we offer people more money [to work in Woodbury],” Butterly said. “People are under the impression that people are going to flock to places like this, because it is a nice place to work.”
Borysiewicz’s commute will be cut from 35 to 40 minutes each way to about five minutes, and he will also be thrust into a supervisory role. He will also be charged with ordering books for the Bethel Public Library.
Despite those perks, Borysiewicz said he will miss the people he’s had day-to-day interaction with for the past three years. That includes his co-workers, his fellow town employees, and the Woodbury Public Library’s patrons.
“Part of what I got into, being a librarian, is to help people find answers, and you get some really great questions here,” Borysiewicz said. “It’s going to be a shame to lose that.”