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Flash Drive Got You Flummoxed? Your Hero’s Here

November 19, 2018

This is the latest in The Sun’s “Be a Volunteer” series.

By Kori Tuitt

ktuitt@lowellsun.com

WILMINGTON -- When Carmine Lavino turned 5 years old, his grandfather gifted him a boombox, but the manual seemed to fascinate him more.

“My mother was telling me, ‘Carmine, do you like the book instead of the radio?’” Lavino said.

This is one of the first instances Lavino showed his interest in the inner workings of technology. Now, 32 years later, Lavino is a regular volunteer at the Wilmington Memorial Library, offering hourlong, one-on-one tech help sessions for patrons.

“I love helping people, I love technology and I just love the fact that I’m able to do this,” said Lavino, 37.

The Wilmington resident has been offering his services for at least seven years. He has a degree in computer science from Salem State University and previously worked for the Everett Public Schools doing tech support for the district. But, he said he wanted to give back to the Wilmington community, where he has lived for over a decade now. And patrons have taken notice, often asking, specifically, for his assistance.

“A month ago, someone wrote a very nice letter to the director complimenting Carmine,” said Charlotte Wood, assistant library director. “It was complimentary of his time and patience with them.”

Lavino has become an appreciated fixture at the library for many patrons, mostly those who are retirement age and those who can attend his daytime sessions. He helps people navigate using their devices and does some research on the patrons’ issues before meeting for their session.

“It’s never the same here, which I like,” Lavino said. “I do the best I can with the knowledge I have.”

If Lavino cannot figure out the solution to a problem, he will refer people to another service or recommend informational library materials they can check out.

Patrons can sign up for a session with Lavino from Monday through Saturday during the noon to 1 p.m. time slot.

Brad McKenna, the technology librarian, said he is able to offer a limited number of tech help sessions himself, so Lavino’s commitment is a great value.

“He’s very easy going, very approachable, very patient, which are all things you need, especially when you’re teaching tech,” McKenna said. “He’s very friendly, so it’s good to see him whenever he’s here.”

Wood said Lavino’s work is so important to the Wilmington community because there aren’t many other places that offer this type of service free of charge. She said his reliability incredible.

“Everybody is so nice, so welcoming. I’m just really fortunate to have an experience like this,” Lavino said. “This experience combines all three of my passions: customer service, technology and books.”

Those looking to sign up for a tech help session can call 978-658-2967, visit www.wilmlibrary.org or do so in person.

Follow Kori Tuitt on Twitter @KoriTuitt.

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