During their November 15th meeting, Mid-Continent Public Library’s Board of Trustees approved a contract to hire Aaron B. Mason as the system’s new Library Director and CEO. Beginning January 17, 2023, Mason will step into MCPL’s head leadership role, overseeing the Library’s 33 branches across Jackson, Clay, and Platte Counties, and the nearly 850,000 residents they serve. Mason moves to MCPL from Cleveland Public Library, where he spent nearly two decades of his career, most recently holding the role of Senior Director of Outreach and Programming Services.
“Mr. Mason is an esteemed librarian with tremendous leadership and public service experience that will be a valued asset to Mid-Continent Public Library,” Ronald Thiewes, MCPL Board President said. “We’re thrilled to have Aaron join the Library and very much look forward to him as our new Director and CEO.”
In his previous position, Mason worked to expand the reach of Cleveland Public Library’s services beyond its 27 branches through innovative initiatives and partnerships. During his tenure with the organization, he held a variety of roles—from assisting customers as a branch staff member and business reference librarian, to cataloging materials purchased by the library, to overseeing the entire system’s programming and outreach efforts. In all his work, Mason has been particularly passionate about connecting residents to the arts and ensuring equitable access to critical resources and services.
“Throughout my career, my mission has been to remove roadblocks and support the public’s right to shape the library experience to their interests. With the help of dedicated librarians, we have built an environment where people of all ages can dream, create, and grow. Continuing this work in support of Mid-Continent Public Library is a dream come true,” Mason said. “I am honored to have the opportunity to join this great organization, and I look forward to serving the community and furthering MCPL’s mission of ‘expanding access to innovation, information, ideas, and inspiration.’”
Mason’s career as a librarian has included innumerable accomplishments that benefited library customers and local residents. A few of his more notable achievements include:
Wray has been serving as MCPL’s Acting Library Director since Director Steven Potter retired in June of this year. Following his departure, the Library’s Board of Trustees began their four-month, nationwide search for a new director, resulting in the selection of Mason.
Mason earned his Master of Library and Information Science from Kent State University and his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University. Outside of the office, he is a member of the American Library Association and Public Library Association.
Photo credit: MCPL