2012 Eureka Mentor: Waynn Pearson
I am a retired library director from the Cerritos Library. I was born in Hollywood, California, in 1944, and moved to Claremont, California, when I was three years old. My mom and dad owned and operated a taxicab company in what is basically a college town. By the age of seven I worked in the family business. Mom and dad were small town entrepreneurial types; located on Main Street, the business was also the local Western Union, a mini mart and a newsstand. I helped out by sticking ticker tape on Western Union telegrams and delivering them. I delivered lots of them to college students. I remember running into the all girls Scripps College and having the girl at the front desk yell, “man in the hall.” Makes me chuckle to this day.
During this time my dad, who loved automobile racing, built me a midget race car. It was cool having your buddies being a little covetous of you getting to drive at ten years old. Because of racing I got to do other neat stuff. At twelve I did a Bosco Chocolate Drink commercial out of my race car for a morning TV show and later a half hour TV program about my racing … of course, I won the Trophy Dash and got the girl. After high school, I went to college and flunked out up in Berkeley. Returning home in 1966 I opened my own haberdashery in Glendora, California.
I failed at owning my own small business too, so I returned to college. At this time I was inspired to pursue a career in librarianship by a friend's father, Ray Holt…former director of Pomona Public and respected library building consultant. While pursuing my BS and MLS I worked at Pomona Public Library as an Intern…they had a marvelous Internship Program at that time. After graduating I worked for the Metropolitan Cooperative Library System as a remote site reference librarian. Then I got a job as a Gov Docs librarian at Ontario Public and in 1981 I became the Director of Cerritos Library, a position I held until I retired in 2006.
At Cerritos I often found myself acting as a Project Manager for building and special projects. I remodeled and expanded the library in 1987 and in 1993 I worked at creating and building the Cerritos Performing Arts Center…other projects included establishing the City’s and Library’s websites, an intranet, “Clio,” that was both public and staff based, and was the first of its kind in library land. In 1997 - 2002 I led the effort of building the first Experience Library. I must say I spent the last few years as a Director in Camelot with my colleagues…my good friends still today. In short “there simply is not a more congenial spot for happy ever aftering” as a library director.
Today I enjoy messing around with our collection of Porsches, especially our 1960 Cabriolet. I build exhibit sets with my Imagineering buddy and enjoy our family…a son, a daughter and five…soon to be six…grandchildren.