City Manager Appoints New Director of Pasadena Public Library Department

PASADENA, Calif.—City Manager Steve Mermell today announced he has appointed Ms. Michelle Perera as the new Director of the Pasadena Public Library and Information Services Department.  Ms. Perera comes to Pasadena from the City of Rancho Cucamonga where she has been the city’s Library Director for the past two years.  Ms. Perera assumes her new duties in Pasadena effective December 19, 2016.

Ms. Perera will oversee a department of 108 full-time employees and an annual budget of about $14 million.  The department,, currently includes the Central Library and nine branches, collectively serving about 1.2 million people per year and about 500,000 online customers.  With more than 2,300 on-site programs, free WiFi services and an extensive collection of printed books, periodicals, media and cloud-based eBooks, the Pasadena Public Library serves as a life-long learning center and cultural beacon for the greater Pasadena community.

Ms. Perera brings more than 20 years of professional public library system experience to the position.  She has held numerous positions within the Rancho Cucamonga Library Department since 1997 and, prior, worked for the public libraries for the cities of San Marino and Glendora.  She has a master’s degree in library science from California State University, San Jose; a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Riverside, and, in 2001, she completed the Institute for 21st Century Librarianship training at Stanford University.

In 2008, the California Library Association (CLA) gave her its “Award of Excellence” as a public librarian and she served on CLA’s Board from 2011 to 2014.  In 2013, she was named a “Mover & Shaker” by the national Library Journal,  Also in 2013, while serving as Rancho Cucamonga’s Assistant Library Director, the library won a National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services that was presented by First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

“I am honored to have been selected by the City Manager to lead Pasadena’s Public Library at a time of great opportunity and change for how library resources, programs and services are used every day and how they meet the demands in the digital era,” Ms. Perera said.  “I look forward to serving as a member of the City’s executive team and continuing the finest traditions of outstanding community service provided by the library and its staff.”

Ms. Perera said she is particularly interested in participating in Pasadena’s 15th annual “One City, One Story” community reading program organized by the Library Department.  This year’s selection is The Sympathizer by author Viet Thanh Nguyen.  More information about the program is online at

City Manager Mermell said Ms. Perera “has the right combination of public library expertise, leadership and community values making her the right fit at the right time for our valued public library.”

The maximum salary for the position as posted on the City’s website is $15,000 per month.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  November 4, 2016  #062-16

NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: William H. Boyer, Pasadena Public Information Officer, City Manager’s Office, (626) 744-4755,