Member in the Spotlight: Joe Guarini

by Laurie Lynch

When I asked Joseph Guarini if he could travel back in time, what point would he choose, and why, he thought about the question, and then apologized. “If given the choice, I’d really prefer to go to the future instead. I’d really like to see how the technology has advanced. The flying cars . . .” he began.

Joseph, known to his friends and co-workers as Joe, is a kind conversationalist, and his curiosity is apparent. His history has brought him through a variety of jobs and interests. In all of his experiences, he has found it important to demonstrate his dedicated work ethic.

Joe grew up and has spent most of his life in the town of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He has a younger brother who has two children, and they also live in Shrewsbury. Growing up, Joe and his family took several trips, including a memorable one to Disney World, and another, with his paternal grandmother, to Canada.

One of Joseph Guarini’s favorite hobbies as a child was looking at the stars, moon, and planets through his telescope, which he received as a gift from his parents. The telescope, along with Joe’s favorite television show, “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” with Carl Sagan, inspired a lifelong interest in astronomy. Joe was given a copy of the companion book to the series for his 14th birthday, and it remains a personal favorite. After receiving his high school diploma from Shrewsbury High School, Joe was accepted at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He lived on campus while earning his degree in Astronomy.

After completing his undergraduate degree, and working at the retail store Caldor for some time, Joe decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Library Science. Joe attended SUNY (State University of New York) Albany, NY and obtained his degree. After that, Joe returned to Caldor while pursuing a library job.  In fact, he worked at that Caldor in Westborough for a number of years, until the store closed. He then worked at Radio Shack for two years. He also volunteered at the Shrewsbury Public Library, where he updated the cataloging system for the books there from Dewey Decimal 19 to DD 20. He also volunteered at a local public radio station (WICN in Worcester, station 90.5 FM) where he did data entry from information on classical CD’s.

In May of 2001, Joe began working here, in the Lamar Soutter Library. His favorite thing about working at the library is the people he gets to work with. I asked Joe how he feels about being part of a union. “I think people, even at the professional levels, would be better off with a union,” he said. “Unions are good for most people, and I like being part of one.”
20 Random Fun Facts about Joseph Guarini:
  • Favorite color – Red (Joe drives a red car.)
  • Favorite season – Summer (Although he likes them all.)
  • Beach or woods – Beach
  • Chocolate or vanilla – Vanilla
  • Dream vacation – Greece to see the Ruins
  • Favorite style of music – 50’s rock and roll (Especially Buddy Holly and Elvis)
  • If you could only eat 1 meal for the rest of your life, what would it be – Chicken Parmesan with spaghetti. (Joe used to order this every Friday night when he and his family went out for dinner in Webster Square.) 
  • Do you have any pets – No (However, Joe had a dog named Buddy growing up.)
  • Do you blow dry your hair, or just let it dry on its own, or towel dry – Towel dry
  • Do you untie your shoes when you take them off – Untie
  • Favorite book – Companion Book to the Cosmos by John Gribbin
  • Last thing you bought –Breakfast, but if not food related it was Star Trek: the Original Series on DVD
  • Favorite day of the week – Sunday - for relaxing
  • T.V. shows you secretly enjoy – 2 Broke Girls, Big Bang Theory, and Supergirl
  • Favorite potato chip flavor – Plain Kettle Cooked Cape Cod Chips
  • Do you play a musical instrument – Trombone in his high school band and now he plays keyboard in a band with some of his coworkers from the library
  • What's your worst pet peeve – Being rushed
  • Do you have dream car – Classic Rolls-Royce . . . or a new Prius
  • Who named you and why – His father because his parents decided if he was a boy, his dad would get to name him and if he was a girl his mother would
  • Do you have a favorite life motto – "Don’t try for perfection, just try for improvement."