Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Profiles – Zamawa Arenas, Principal, ARGUS; Trustee, Boston Public Library; Member, Strategic Planning Committee

by Gina Perille

A native of Venezuela, Zamawa Arenas spent part of her childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she discovered that the library “mattered to me,” as she puts it. So when she moved to Boston from Venezuela to obtain a Master’s degree at Boston University, “the first thing I did was get a BPL library card,” she says. “It was a place to start connecting with the city.”

Today, Zamawa is the Principal of ARGUS, a Boston-based multidisciplinary communications company specializing in multicultural markets. She has proven herself a far-sighted strategist. For example, prior to ARGUS in 1996, she helped launch the first art-house pay-per-view movie service on the internet—long before the creation of Netflix and Hulu.

Zamawa brought those visionary skills to bear on the Boston Public Library’s Strategic Planning Committee. “The library is doing a great job of being forward-thinking,” she says. “Establishing itself as a venue for digital content is critical for the library to expand and grow.”

To Zamawa, that focus on digitization benefits not only future generations of library users, but also the city’s many different cultural groups. “The demographics of the city have changed dramatically,” she points out. “We need to be mindful of inclusiveness and serving people of all ages and backgrounds. To me, the most rewarding aspect of my involvement with the library is seeing it alive with users and seeing how they enjoy going online.”