SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica Public Library Director Maria Carpenter has resigned from her position to move to the east coast. Carpenter has been at the SMPL Library Director since June 2014. The move is so she can be closer to her family. She will now be the Library Director of Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before becoming the Library Director for Santa Monica, Carpenter was the Director of Libraries for Somerville, Massachusetts,
“Maria has been an outstanding leader who has set the standard for what a 21st Century library looks like through the Library Strategic Plan that she initiated,” said Rick Cole, Santa Monica City Manager. “We have a beloved local library system which continues to be on the cutting edge of public innovation. Maria has provided exceptional vision that will leave a lasting legacy. We will miss her, but are grateful for her dynamism, dedication, and inspiration.”
According to the Cambridge Public Library website, she will be replacing Susan Flannery who retired in April. Carpenter comes to Cambridge from the Santa Monica Public Library where as Director of Libraries she managed five branches and a staff of over 200 employees.
Richard C. Rossi, City Manager of the City of Cambridge indicated that, “Her interests and experience are wide ranging: fostering early literacy and computer literacy; working with dual language learners, low-income populations and teens; and ensuring new immigrants receive the assistance needed for navigating the system. Maria has the knowledge, abilities, and energy to continue the long tradition of excellent leadership for the Cambridge Public Library.”
During her time as Library Director for Santa Monica Public Library, Carpenter developed the Library’s Strategic Plan which shapes policy and operations over the next three years in alignment with City Council’s Learn & Thrive Strategic Goal to promote lifelong learning and educational partnerships as well as support the City’s Cradle to Career Initiative and Wellbeing Project.
She has helped create the Library Foundation, her other accomplishments include SMPL at the Beach, mobile computer classes, the renovation of the Fairview Branch Library, and YALLWEST, a popular teen literary festival bringing distinguished authors and 5,000 participants to Santa Monica.
“I am thrilled to return to where I first got hooked on a career in libraries– at the Cambridge Public Library,” said Carpenter. “CPL is recognized as a leader in providing outstanding library services for all. I look forward to joining an inspired team of colleagues, volunteers and a diverse city of readers and learners to build upon CPL’s important programs and services and to look toward the future.”
Assistant City Librarian Erica Cuyugan will serve as the interim Library Director until a successor is selected after a national search.