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California Library Hall of Fame: Waynnhall "Waynn" Pearson
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California Library Hall of Fame

Waynnhall "Waynn" Pearson (1944-2017)

Waynn Pearson worked at both the Pomona Public Library and the Ontario Public Library, where he served as director, before moving on to the Cerritos Library in 1981. While at Cerritos, he realized his greatest professional legacy: the “experience library,” which reimagined library services from the user’s perspective. Under Pearson’s leadership, the now Cerritos Millennium Library was expanded to 88,500 square feet, which included a high-tech conference center, museum-quality artwork and displays, a 15,000-gallon aquarium, traveling Smithsonian exhibits, and a full-sized T. rex skeleton in the children’s area. Awards included Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best Public Library” and the American Library Association/American Institute of Architects “Award of Excellence.” Library Journal (LJ) also listed Cerritos as one of America’s “Star Libraries.” In addition, LJ named Pearson one of its “Movers & Shakers” in 2003. Among his most lasting contributions was providing mentorship and encouragement to scores of new librarians, including participants in the “Eureka! Leadership Program,” well after he retired in 2006. Always ready to consult and advise, Pearson had a gift for spotting and developing talent in others, inspiring them to dream big, trust their instincts, and follow their passion. His influence will be felt for years to come.


Waynn Pearson was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2017. For more information about him, please see:


Photo credit: Holly Hinman and Eileen O'Shea