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Library Director Patty Wong to Leave Santa Monica for Opportunity in the Bay Area

July 21, 2021 2:24 PM

Library Director Patty Wong to Leave Santa Monica for Opportunity in the Bay Area

Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) Director Patty Wong has announced today that she will leave Santa Monica to take on the role of Library Director for the City of Santa Clara.

“Patty’s commitment to lifelong learning, inclusion, and redefining what a library can be for its community has seen the library through our best days and the hardest days when the pandemic required the closure of our beloved branches,” said Interim City Manager John Jalili. “We are grateful for Patty’s passion, perseverance, and dedication to Santa Monica.”

Since becoming Library Director for Santa Monica’s five-star library system in 2017, Wong has stayed true to her commitment to champion lifelong learning, including increased grant funding from the California State Library for Adult Literacy and Families for Literacy.

During a period of unprecedented changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and organizational restructuring, under Wong’s leadership, SMPL continued to provide library services to the Santa Monica community and safely reopen facilities, including a new and innovative Open+ Self-Service Pilot Program at the Ocean Park branch to launch July 28th.

Wong has played a critical role in the organization’s efforts to enhance equity and social justice, including serving as a lead member of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity. Always a compassionate leader, Wong championed the library as a space for all people, while also hiring social workers to support connections to services and housing for patrons experiencing homelessness. She is a nationally recognized leader, currently serving as the President of the American Library Association.

"It has been an honor for me to serve Santa Monica and to work with my colleagues at the Santa Monica Library and City,” said Wong. “I want to encourage the continued work in equity, diversity, and inclusion to build a stronger community for all.” 

Wong’s last day in Santa Monica is September 4, 2021. An Interim Library Director will be named to oversee operations while an executive search is conducted.

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