MONTEREY – The Monterey Library Board has named Brian Edwards, director of the library division of the Alameda County Library, as director of library and museums. Edwards will replace current manager Inga Waite, who is due to retire on July 31.
Beginning August 16, Edwards will plan and direct the operations and activities of the Monterey Public Library. He will also oversee the City of Monterey’s Museums and Cultural Arts Division. This includes watchdog programs and services at four historic sites in the city – the Colton Hall Museum and Old Jail, Pacific Biological Laboratories, Cannery Row Worker’s Cabins and the Presidio of Monterey Museum – as well as the Gallery Alvarado Art Gallery at the Monterey Conference Center.
He joins Monterey as a member of the city’s leadership team.
“Milestones in my life have brought me here,” Edwards said in a press release. “I still remember the sense of wonder I felt as a toddler when my mother rehearsed her stories and songs with me before heading into her role at the library. As the new headmaster of the Monterey Library and Museums, I am committed to ensuring (a Monterey Public Library) where everyone is welcome and belongs; while providing facilities that honor the past and look to the future.
The Monterey Public Library Board chose Edwards after conducting a nationwide search, Monterey City Assistant Manager Nat Rojanasathira said. The city received dozens of applications from across the country, Rojansathira continued, adding that the selection process took several months.
Now that the final nomination has been made, Rojansathira said “the library board and the city are thrilled to welcome Brian Edwards to the Monterey community.”
In his role at the Alameda County Library, Edwards oversees library services while managing 52 full-time equivalent employees at four public libraries in the city of Fremont. Among his duties, Edwards worked on facility renovation projects, implemented a new automated materials processing system, coordinated fundraising and strategic growth, and served as part of the county library‘s central leadership. from Alameda on countywide policy, staffing, partnerships and budget issues.
Edwards’ work with the Alameda County Library began 22 years ago, when he started at an entry-level position before becoming a division manager in 2018. He holds a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas. Edwards also earned a Masters of Public Administration in Policy Management and Analysis and a Bachelors in Studio Art from CSU East Bay.
For his upcoming position at the Monterey Public Library – California’s first public library – one of Edwards’ first and foremost priorities is to connect with the community.
“Libraries provide the means for the community to learn on their own terms – books, eMaterial, engaging programs, historical research and valuable museum experiences,” he said in a press release.
In his first 30 days, Edwards plans to meet with the library board, library and museum and city staff, museum and cultural arts commissioners, and members and volunteers. of the Monterey Public Library Board and Volunteers. During this time, the Monterey Public Library will host a series of meet-and-greet community events to get to know Edwards in person and online.
The first community meeting is scheduled for September 10 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Monterey Public Library, 625 Pacific St.