News • March 22, 2023

El Centro City Council Welcomes Carla Mason as New El Centro Public Library Director

EL CENTRO — El Centro Interim City Manager Cedric Ceseña introduced the new El Centro Public Library director to council members during the city’s regular meeting Tuesday, March 21, at El Centro’s City Hall.

The city’s library hasn’t had a full time director since March 2019 when the previous director retired. Even though the library was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, library staff provided curbside and drive-through services to the community.

The El Centro Public Library had its ribbon cutting and opening on November 10, 2022. It occupies a total of 19,811 sq. ft. with designated areas for children, teens and adults.

On Tuesday evening, Ceseña introduced and welcomed Carla Mason as the new director of the El Centro Public Library. Mason started her position on March 20, a day prior to the council meeting.

“After a lengthy search, we were able to find Carla Mason,” said Ceseña. He acknowledged Heidi Dolamore, from Library Systems and Services, who helped manage the library and search for a full time library director.

“This is a fantastic opportunity in a brand new library. There are a lot of things well thought-out in this library,” Mason told council members. “I look forward to the opportunity here.”

Mayor Martha Cardenas-Singh, Mayor Pro-Tem Sylvia Marroquin, Council members Edgard Garcia, Tomás Oliva and Sonia Carter welcomed Mason.

“Carla will lead the Library and support its mission of providing quality materials and programs to meet the educational, information, cultural and recreation needs of the El Centro Community,” according to a document provided at the council meeting.

Mason earned her Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University and Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities from the University of Southern California. She has 12 years of experience in public libraries.

In an interview outside the council chamber following her introduction to the council members, Mason expressed knowledge of the features and services of the library which were not found in other libraries. For example, the section dedicated to the needs of teenagers and a section for story time for children.

“I love when its a new building because it has an aura of a brand new start. You can do a lot of things in the library,” said Mason.

“I have every confidence that she is going to help make a great library even better,” said Dolamore. Even more pleasing to Mason were her library staff. “They love what they’re doing for the community.”

One of the programs Mason would like to embark on is improving community literacy. “I hope to get a grant to help adult literacy,” said Mason.