Watertown’s Library Director is retiring after more than a quarter century overseeing one of the most popular features of the City. To express their gratitude, the City Council passed a proclamation honoring Leone Cole.
Under Cole’s leadership, the Watertown Free Public Library underwent a major renovation and expansion in 2006, preserved Watertown’s historic books, documents and photos, and increased funding by more than 200 percent.
During her 27 years, Cole also increased support for Project Literacy (which teaches immigrants English and helps them apply for citizenship), added the Hatch Makerspace, and started the path toward adding a bookmobile to the Watertown Library’s offerings.
“I want to publicly thank Leone for all her years of service to the community and for all of the things mentioned here — how much she has done for the library,” said City Council President Mark Sideris.
He recalled a time when the Watertown Library was not looked on with such reverence.
“I can remember, I am dating myself here, when I sat here and a councilor said ‘We shouldn’t be doing anything with the library, nobody is going to go there,” Sideris said. “I just want to say (Cole) she has done a fantastic job and I appreciate that.”
The Watertown Library is now open seven days a week, and has among the most hours of operation of any library in Massachusetts. It continued to serve residents during the pandemic when people could not visit the library in-person by offering online reservations and curb-side pick ups.
See the proclamation below: