Erica Cuyugan Appointed as Interim SM Library Director

She will succeed Patty Wong who is moving to the Bay Area

Erica Cuyugan has been appointed to serve as Interim Director of the Santa Monica Public Library, city officials announced today. She will start her temporary post on September 5.

A 15-year veteran of the Santa Monica Library, Cuyugan has served as the Assistant City Librarian since 2017, a role in which she manages system-wide library operations for Main Library and four branches.

She will succeed current City Librarian Patty Wong who announced last week she was leaving Santa Monica on September 4 to take a similar role for the City of Santa Clara.

“Erica is someone who has proven herself as a dedicated library leader time and again, having taken the helm once before on an interim basis in 2016,” said Interim City Manager John Jalili after appointing her to the post. “She’s exactly the person to see us through this transition and as our Library team continues to provide service in new ways.”

Cuyugan started with the city as a Teen Services Librarian in 2006 and rose through the ranks to became the Fairview Branch Manager before joining the leadership team in 2015. As Assistant City Librarian, Cuyugan oversees the department’s budget, staffing, and capital projects.

Cuyugan has been integral in Santa Monica’s efforts to safely staff and reopen its library branches, said city officials. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she helped lead a collaborative pilot in our libraries to address homeless issues, including executing pop-up clinics with service providers.”

“I am extremely invested and committed to this community and our talented staff,” said Cuyugan. “I look forward to the role and helping our organization recover and continue to provide quality library services for Santa Monica.”

Cuyugan will manage a workforce of 47 with an annual operating budget of $8,470,145.

City officials said an executive search for the next City Librarian will begin this summer and more information will be provided in the near future.


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