Vivienne Roumani was born in Benghazi, Libya. She grew up in a household where Arabic, Hebrew, and Italian were spoken interchangeably, and language was a mode of childhood entertainment for her and her brothers in a country where toys were a luxury. At age 12, she immigrated with her family to Boston. Vivienne’s attachment to language led her to study philosophy and Romance languages at Simmons, and on to graduate study in librarianship (University of Maryland College Park) and management (Johns Hopkins University) at a time when library education was starting to incorporate electronic information technology. She initiated digitization projects while serving in management positions at the Library of Congress, Johns Hopkins, and UC Berkeley, working with both new and old media and writing and lecturing on library and information sciences and digital media. She also carried out extensive oral histories of Jews from Libya who were living in Israel and Italy.
Vivienne began making documentary films after leaving the library world and after serving as the Executive Director of the American Sephardi Federation at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. There she founded the Sephardi Library and Archives and the exhibition gallery, curated exhibits, and wrote and lectured on Sephardi Jewry. She is an enthusiastic storyteller, and her documentaries and lecture topics reflect wide-ranging interests encompassing Sephardic culture and the changing nature of communication and the written word.