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            Rita C. Schiavo had a vision – to establish a small, private library for the people of Strathmere, NJ.  This dream is becoming a reality with the official opening of the Rita C. Schiavo Memorial Library planned for spring 2009.


            When Dr. Schiavo passed in 2005, she willed resources specifically for the creation of a community library in this south Jersey town where she enjoyed vacations with her family and friends.  It has taken several years of work directed by local realtor and President of the Library Board of Trustees, Bruce W. Riordan, to help bring this dream nearly to completion.  A brand new building is constructed at 801 South Commonwealth Avenue in Strathmere and the final projects are nearing completion.


            Area resident, Carol C. Bruno, was recently named Library Director and begins the work of establishing the Mission and Goals, Policies and Procedures, and of purchasing furnishings and building the library collection.


            “This is an exciting and challenging task,” Bruno commented upon her appointment. “As a private library, we do not receive government funds or tax dollars so we want to be especially responsive to our members,” she states, “we are beginning that process by polling residents of Strathmere regarding their tastes in literature, media, and even convenient times for library use.”


“We want the library to be a real asset to the community, but also a fitting legacy to Dr. Schiavo,” Riordan adds.


            “Rita Schiavo was born in 1921, yet she was a very modern woman in her achievements and accomplishments,” Bruno adds, “ we are especially grateful for her community-mindedness and her generosity.”


Schiavo earned a BS in Education from Temple University, a MA in Education in 1946, and a JD from Temple University Law School.  She was one of the first women to earn a Doctor of Laws Degree from Temple, evening division.  During World War II, she worked for the US military, then served as Administrator of the Philadelphia Office for CBS, was Director of the Franklin School for Technology and Science, and Administrator at the Giuffre Medical Center.


Her community activities included the establishment of a Public Library to replace the old 7th Street Police Station in Philadelphia, and involvement with Town Watch, and the DARE program for public and parochial schools.


Schiavo served as Legal Advisor and Treasurer for the 2nd Ward Republican Executive Committee in Philadelphia.  Like her late husband, Louis Sciambi, she was a 2nd. Ward Republican Committeeperson for 25 years and regularly supported the Republican National Committee.


Click here to view architect’s rendering of building by Bob Bachich Associates

For More Information Contact:
Carol Bruno

Library Director
Schiavo Library
801 S. Commonwealth Avenue, Strathmere, NJ 08248



Send mail to jfreeman@strathmerelibrary.org with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2009 Schiavo Library
Last modified: 05/20/09