Justin VanPoelvoorde, a senior librarian at the Roosevelt Island Library passed away Monday, November 26. Born on October 4, 1972, the 46-year old last worked at the library on Saturday. According to colleagues, he was not sick and knowledge of his death came as a shock to them. At this time, his cause of death is unknown.
VanPoelvoorde served the Roosevelt Island community for nearly 15 years. His co-workers at the library attest that he was a dedicated and trusted colleague and friend.
Library manager Carlos Chavez said, “It was a pleasure to work with Justin. He was a very cool adult librarian and gentleman. His taste for hats, ties, and blazers was unique and only he could pull them off. His smile, presence, and uncanny sense of humor will be missed. He was a pillar of the Roosevelt Island Library. His librarianship, genuine programs, and community outreach will always be remembered.
Other colleagues, describe him as a generous person with a penchant for pulling pranks. Yolanda Boggan said, “I worked with Justin for the past eight years, he was a kind and generous person. He was always buying the staff treats and other nice unexpected trinkets. He was funny and always pulling pranks on the staff, he will be missed.”
Children’s librarian Jennifer Minehardt will miss his compassion. She said, “Justin was the first person to make you laugh about the silliest things. He was always there to cheer you up with treats from his favorite bakery. He touched so many lives every day with his service to librarianship and the Roosevelt Island community.”
His extensive movie and genre fiction knowledge impressed colleague Anthony Americo, “Justin was a wonderful member of the Roosevelt Island team. His unique sense of humor and vast knowledge of movies and genre fiction made working with Justin a pleasure and a whole lot of fun. He will be sorely missed by the entire Roosevelt Island community.”
The Library was stunned by the news of his passing and appreciates the community's support as they grieve his loss and honor his memory.
VanPoelvoorde’s memorial service will be held at Greenwich Village Funeral Home at 199 Bleecker Street this Sunday December 2 at 10:30 AM
His family requests donations to the library in his name, instead of flowers. Tax-deductible donations in VanPoelvoorde’s honor will support the work of the library and help others continue his work for future generations.