After 37 years of library work, 15 of those at the Goleta Valley Library, Allison Gray is retiring this Friday, March 24, 2023. Before she leaves, the City of Goleta wants to express its sincere appreciation to Ms. Gray for the positive impact she has made during her tenure.
Mayor Paula Perotte said, “Her commitment to the importance of literacy and accessibility will continue to benefit Goleta for generations to come.”
Neighborhood Services Director Jaime Valdez said, “Words don’t do justice to her magnificent career. Ms. Gray is incredibly bright and caring for her staff, the library, and our community.”
Corinne Horowitz, President of the Friends of the Goleta Valley Library group, said, “Allison has been a wonderful Director. She is very understanding of and responsive to the needs of the patrons, and always been helpful to the Friends and our group of volunteers.”
Ms. Gray’s passion for public libraries has always been a life-long affair. She said, “My mother was a public library director in East Hampton, New York, and I am proud to have followed in her very big shoes. That’s 59 years of being backstage in libraries.”
Ms. Gray’s library journey began in 1987 as a Library Assistant in East Hampton. After receiving her Masters Degree in Library Science, she found work on Long Island as the Head of Children’s Services and Assistant Director at South County Library in Bellport, New York. Following this, she became Library Director for the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor, New York, until moving to California in 2008. After a brief time in Palmdale, she joined the Goleta Valley Library as Branch Supervisor, a role she held for 10 years until being promoted to Library Director.
A staunch advocate of youth literacy and user accessibility, Ms. Gray also served on various committees that included the 2001 Newberry Award Committee, 2009 Caldecott Committee, Notable Children’s Books Committee, Notable Children’s Audio Recordings Committee, Batchelder Award for Best Children’s Book Translated from a Foreign Language, Best Books for Reluctant Readers (Teens), and also chaired the 2023 Excellence in Non-Fiction for Teens Book Award.
Ms. Gray’s experience and dedication helped lead the Goleta Valley Library System through the COVID-19 closures. She was recently presented with a City Tile at the Library’s 50 Years at Fairview Celebration event on March 11, 2023.
At her last City Council meeting on March 9, 2023, Ms. Gray said, “I know that the library will continue the tradition of excellent customer service. I really appreciate having had the opportunity to work for the City of Goleta and help carry the library services forward.” On behalf of the City of Goleta and the lives you have impacted, we want to wish Allison Gray a well-deserved retirement. If you would like to leave a note of appreciation, please add a comment to this announcement on our Facebook page (@cityofgoleta).