South KC Perspective
By John Sharp
The Mid-Continent Public Library (MCPL) Board of Trustees has hired Aaron Mason, senior director of outreach & programming services at the Cleveland Public Library, to be MCPL’s new director and CEO.
As head of MCPL’s staff, Mason will oversee operations of the system’s 33 branches in Clay, Jackson and Platte Counties.
Mason is scheduled to begin his new duties on January 17. He succeeds longtime director Steven Potter who retired this June. Until his arrival, Susan Wray, MCPL assistant director and chief operating officer, will continue to serve as acting director.
During his nearly two decades of service with the Cleveland Public Library which has 27 branches and a downtown campus, Mason took a leadership role in constructing four “neighborhood justice hubs” that offer civil and criminal legal services, telehealth support and virtual access to Cleveland’s Housing Court.
He developed curriculum and secured funding for 16 learning centers that provide K-3 reading instruction, after school tutoring, college preparedness classes and other learning programs for children and youth. He also developed institutional partnerships that increased customer access to STEM programming, art instruction and legal services.
Mason holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from Kent State University.
In a statement following his hiring, Mason said throughout his career his mission has been to remove roadblocks and support the public’s right to shape library services to meet their needs.
“Continuing this work in support of Mid-Continent Public Library is a dream come true,” he said.