Library Worker Returns Wednesday—But Not in Warren
Larry Sapienza fought for his job after he was terminated, but only got a partial victory.
Larry Sapienza, the former circulation supervisor at Warren Public Library fired in April and re-instated after a public outcry, returns to work Wednesday with the Somerset County Library System.
But don't look for him at the Warren branch.
If you want to see Sapienza and wish him well, you'll need to go to Hillsborough.
"Mr. Sapienza will be returning to work on Aug. 1 in the position of system-wide volunteer program coordinator," Library System Director Brian Auger said. He said the position is assigned to the Hillsborough Public Library, but did not provide further details about the job duties and how the now position came about before this article was posted.
Sapienza, a Bridgewater resident, confirmed his return to work on Wednesday, but declined further comment.
He and Warren Branch Manager Elaine Whiting had been dismissed in April after a new policy regarding volunteers was put into place. Miscommunication between library managers, volunteers and administrators caused confusion among the volunteers, leading to Sapienza and Whiting's dismissal.
In June, the Somerset County Library Commission ruled the termination was "more severe than necessary," and modified it to an unpaid suspension.
Many of those supporting Sapienza's reinstatement expressed surprise and disappointment in his new post. Peter King, a volunteer in the Bridgewater branch, said he thought it strange Sapienza was terminated for allegedly mishandling the implementation for the volunteers and then given a job overseeing them.
"The Library System apparently does not understand the meaning of the verb 'to reinstate'," he added. "The dictionary defines it as being returned to a previous position or condition. Shamefully, this has not occurred."