Library Director Carmen Hernandez retires

By Glenn Barnett

Library Director Carmen Hernandez is retiring.

Carmen Hernandez has been the director of the Alhambra Library since 2004, presiding over day-to-day operations. When the library made its historic move from its longtime Main Street location to the brand new Civic Center building in 2008, Ms. Hernandez worked with other city department heads, consultants, architects, and designers on the construction of the new building. She then oversaw the transfer of the library’s collection and materials to the beautiful new library facility.

Within the first year of operation, the new library hosted over a million visits. Ms. Hernandez led her staff in the formation of a strategic plan that has led to the library adapting to the rapidly changing needs of the community. The plan encouraged incorporating new technologies and programs that go “beyond the book” for children, teens, and adults.

Ms. Hernandez came to Alhambra after a long career as a librarian, first with the Los Angeles County Library system followed by 11 years as a children’s librarian with the City of Glendora and then the senior librarian for both adult and youth services. For a time, she was also the circulation supervisor for the Milliken Library at Cal Tech.

With her range of experience she was the right choice for Alhambra. Working with the Library Foundation Board and her staff, Ms. Hernandez has overseen annual fundraising dinners around the theme of different books. The Harry Potter books were a recent theme, with participants sitting at tables in “The Great Hall” representing the different Hogwart’s houses. People who have attended these events know she throws the best parties in town.

Other fundraising events include the rental and then sales of DVDs, and the Foundation book store, staffed by volunteers, that offers donated books at a bargain price. All proceeds go toward the library’s many programs and activities.

Today there is a new challenge to all libraries. The COVID situation is calling for libraries to adapt again. With all in-library services closed, new avenues of learning have become necessary for a library to stay relevant. This time, Ms. Hernandez and her staff have implemented services that can be accessed from home via computer. As ever, these services include opportunities for patrons of all ages. A list of these new services can be found on the library’s website.

We will miss Ms. Hernandez and her innovative approach to the use and accessibility of the modern library, and we thank her for her many years of service to the Alhambra community.


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Jan 2022


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