Rosenberg Library Executive Director John Augelli has announced his retirement, effective August 2020, after more than 18 years of service.
Under Mr. Augelli’s leadership, the historic 75,000 square foot library building was repaired and restored in a 7-phase, multi-year renovation. He helped raise over $14 million for these renovations, while increasing the library’s permanent endowment funds by $9 million. Through his efforts, the library’s technology systems were greatly improved with increased Internet speed and state-of-the-art equipment for the public computer labs.
Mr. Augelli was a strong supporter of the Rosenberg Library’s unique archival and museum collections and made digitization and public access to the collections a primary goal. He ensured that funding was available for the conservation of historical treasures in the collections and upgraded security and environmental conditions in the building to advance long-term preservation. Likewise, he promoted and participated in all major library projects and events including the Summer Reading Club kick-off parties, Galveston Reads, annual Friends of the Rosenberg Library book sales and many Mardi Gras children’s parades.
Perhaps Mr. Augelli will be best remembered for his tireless efforts during and after Hurricane Ike in 2008. Mr. Augelli weathered the storm inside the building, protecting key pieces of equipment and resources at the height of the storm. Despite devastating damage to the first floor where the Children’s, Circulation, Technical Services, and Operations departments were housed, the library’s priceless historical collections and artifacts remained safe. This was a direct result of his quick action to bring in specialists to remove the water and reduce the temperature and humidity in the building.
In 2010, Mr. Augelli’s long and distinguished career was recognized by the Texas Library Association when he was selected as the state’s Librarian of the Year.
Continual, unwavering service to the community has been Mr. Augelli’s top priority, as demonstrated through his efforts to quickly reopen the building and continue to provide library materials and services following Hurricanes Ike and Harvey and most recently during the Covid-19 pandemic. Programs such as curbside pick-up and expanded digital resources have allowed patrons to continue utilizing the library’s collections. Mr. Augelli’s outstanding stewardship of the longest-operating public library in Texas has undoubtedly made a lasting impact on the Galveston community. The library’s Board of Directors, Trustees and staff wish him the best during his well-deserved retirement.