Chamber and Rotary honor Monroe librarian

Monroe Library managing librarian Phil Spirito

And the award goes to … Phil Spirito!

Spirito, the managing librarian at the Monroe Public Library, was honored with the Community Caring Award presented by Monroe Chamber of Commerce at 25th annual Community Awards celebration.

The April 27 event at the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center got underway with comments by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Yvonne Gallardo-Van Ornam, Monroe Mayor Geoffrey Thomas welcomed guests and chamber member Sally Petty served as emcee.

“Phil Spirito at the library has just made quite a splash in Monroe,” Petty said. “If you’ve not gotten to know him, stop by the library; he and his team are phenomenal.”

Spirito came to Monroe in summer 2014 with his wife, Libby, and dove into community activities. In addition to being a member of the Monroe Rotary Club, Spirito is a musician and a community advocate who focuses on homelessness and poverty issues. In his spare time, he helps his wife operate Orange Star Farm, a sustainable small farm that sells vegetables at area farmers markets.

At the Monroe Library, Spirito is working to create a welcoming community space for everyone. Under his guidance, the children’s area was renovated to include activities that encourage early literacy.  Spirito also increased the size and visibility of the Spanish language collection to better serve Monroe’s Hispanic community, but his main focus has been on outreach to increase community awareness of all the amazing resources that are available at Sno-Isle libraries.

“From the moment he arrived, Spirito embraced Monroe and the people in it,” Petty said.

In addition to the chamber award, the Monroe Rotary Club honored Spirito for his contributions to the club and the community since moving to Monroe and becoming a Rotarian.

“I feel like I’m going to be a lifetime Rotary member,” Spirito said. “They’ve taught me how to do service in a year and a half, and I’m giving back and I feel just so lucky to be a part of this community.”