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Santa Monica Hires New Library Director  

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By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

February 9, 2017 -- After a half-year search, the City of Santa Monica has hired the librarian of Yolo County as its new library director, City officials confirmed this week.

Patricia Wong will start her new job March 6, said Debbie Lee, the City's Chief Communications Officer.

Wong served as Yolo County’s librarian for nine years.
Santa Monica Librarian Patty Wong

In farewell remarks to her then-bosses, the county’s board of supervisors, Wong said she took pride in the “equity, diversity and inclusion” that characterizes the library system there, a story in the Woodland Daily Democrat said Tuesday.

Santa Monica began scouting for a new head librarian after the resignation in July of Maria Carpenter, who had served in the position a little more than two years.

(Photo courtesy of Yolo County)

Carpenter left to "pursue professional opportunities close to her family on the East Coast," where she was to head the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts, officials said ("Santa Monica's Head Librarian Resigns," July 28, 2016).

Assistant City Librarian Erica Cuyugan has been serving as the interim library director while the City conducted its hunt for a permanent successor to Carpenter.

Wong has worked for 24 years in public library management, with experience in youth services, human resources, facilities, fund development, community development, fundraising and grant writing, according to her Linkedin profile.

In addition to the Yolo County library, she has also worked with San Joaquin County Public Library, the Oakland Public Library, Berkeley Public Library and Oakland Unified School District, her profile says.

She is also a part-time faculty member at San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science.

The Santa Monica and Yolo County library systems have notable differences.

Yolo County’s libraries are scattered across the heavily agricultural -- though sparsely populated -- region of about 1,071 square miles in Northern California, with branches in Clarksburg, Davis, Esparto, Knights Landing, West Sacramento, Winters and Yolo. Library administrative and technical services operations are in Woodland.

Total visits reached 764,608 in 2015, according to the library's website.

Santa Monica’s citywide system is comprised of the main library downtown and branches in the Fairview, Montana, Ocean Park and Pico neighborhoods. All branches totaled 1,262,708 visitors in 2014-2015.

Carpenter was selected to head the Santa Monica library system after a six-month nationwide search ("Santa Monica Hires New City Librarian," March 17, 2014).

She earned $163,252 in 2015, according to payroll data from Transparent California, with benefits totaling $45,480.

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