Thank you, Debra Brighton!
Please join me in extending best wishes to Debra Brighton. After almost 31 years with the City, and 18 years as a Department Head, she is retiring at the end of December 2017.
Today, it’s hard to imagine a modern library without Internet access, WiFi connection or an online catalog website. But, when Debra first started working at the El Segundo Public Library in January 1987, the Library relied mostly on a large card catalog to find materials on the shelves, and used printed Reference books and magazines to look up information.
Debra began as a Reference Desk supervisor and promoted to Principal Librarian in 1992. She hired and trained school library staff to work in the four local schools, and she directed their daily activities through a joint partnership with the El Segundo Unified School District. That collaboration has been one of her proudest accomplishments which continues to this day.
The Library was expanded in 1993, and soon automated to an online Catalog. Debra assisted in setting up the protocols and a network of 40 staff and public computer stations, back when technology was still in its infancy with dial-up modem lines, and long before there was a City Information Services Department that manages current Library technology services.
Since 1999, Debra has been the Library Director and has seen many changes in renovations of the interior of the library and expanded services for adults and children. In the mid-2000’s three meeting rooms were created on the main floor’s north side with great views of Library Park. She started the annual Author Fair, planned adult reading and discussion groups, initiated the Concerts in the Library series and continued to upgrade technology to meet the growing needs of patrons. The Library now has WiFi throughout the building and coming soon in 2018, there will be new seating, tables and a charging station area behind the Information Desk. This is a capital improvement project recently approved by the City Council to accommodate more patrons who visit the library and want to stay connected.
After forming many friendships with staff and colleagues, she is both sad to leave and excited to look forward to having more time to read, of course, volunteer, pursue research projects and write another book. She became a first-time author last year after a local pictorial history of the City was published for the Centennial celebration called: Images of America: El Segundo. She is also an avid traveler and still has Africa, Australia, and the South Seas on her bucket list to visit. Debra wishes all a fond farewell and offers “many thanks to everyone who has worked, volunteered or otherwise supported the El Segundo Public Library” during her many years of public service.
On behalf of the City of El Segundo, we thank you, Debra Brighton, for who you are and the difference you made. Your tireless efforts over the years will continue to make a positive impact in the lives of many for years to come. We honor you for your dedication and commitment. Your retirement is our loss, but a well-deserved respite for you. Congratulations!