October News from County Librarian Melinda Cervantes

Dear Library Community,

This will be my last message for the newsletter as county librarian for Contra Costa County Library. As I announced last month, I am retiring. But before I go, I wanted to share some important information with you.

County Administrator David Twa has appointed Alison McKee as interim county librarian.

Alison is an East Coast native and has lived in Contra Costa County since 1999. She majored in music at Indiana University and received a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She worked as a musician for 10 years and even lived in Mexico for 18 months while performing with a symphony orchestra.

After returning to the U.S., Alison soon discovered her love for libraries and pursued a master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University, graduating in 2006. She has been with Contra Costa County Library since 2002 where she has worked as a library assistant, librarian, senior community library manager, and for the last six years as deputy county librarian.

As deputy, Alison has tackled some difficult and important projects including, managing the new website project, helping to launch the Library’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, opening the new Brentwood Library, and the project to build the new Pleasant Hill Library. She also led the team that focused on recovery and increased security of the library network after the January cyber-attack.

Alison’s passion for libraries is clear and her experience will help to lead the Contra Costa County Library through this difficult time. Her first day will be October 19, 2020. Congratulations, Alison!

A recruitment for the permanent appointment will take place in the coming months and a new county librarian is expected to be announced in early 2021.

Seeking New Library Commission Members

The Library Commission is looking for new members. The Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Supervisors and the County Librarian. The Commission meets six times a year and is currently holding meetings via Zoom. If you are passionate about libraries and live in Contra Costa County you could be the perfect candidate. To see a list of the current vacancies and learn more about the Commission, visit ccclib.org/commission/.  Applications, interviews, and appointment procedures vary for each city/town and special district. If you would like to express your interest in serving on the Library Commission, please contact Walter Beveridge at walter.beveridge@library.cccounty.us.

Please take a look at the rest of the newsletter for information about returning books, checking your account status and air quality closures.

It has been my pleasure to serve as county librarian these last four years.


Melinda Cervantes
County Librarian