Sacramento, California - Earlier today at the State Capitol, Marjo Mello of Brawley was honored as the 56th Assembly District’s 2015 Woman of the Year.  Selected for the honor by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, Ms. Mello joined women from all over the state to be recognized for their contributions during a special Assembly Floor Session.

“As the City of Brawley Library Director, Marjo has dedicated her entire life to making the library accessible for everyone in the community and has committed to expanding services and promoting literacy in the City and the entire Imperial Valley,” stated Assemblymember Garcia.  “As libraries transition from traditional print, Marjo has adapted the City’s approach to services by meeting changing times with innovative leadership and established the regions first mobile pre-literacy program,” said Garcia.

In accepting the honor, Marjo said, “I am truly humbled by this award and am grateful to Assemblymember Garcia for selecting me. It’s an honor being here today alongside many other extraordinary women who are committed to their communities”

The Woman of the Year Awards Celebration is held at the State capitol. The day’s proceedings include a brunch reception hosted by the Legislative Women’s Caucus, followed by a special recognition ceremony on the Floor of the State Assembly.

Marjo L. Mello joined the staff of the City of Brawley in 1987 and has led the department as Library Director since 1992.  Mrs. Mello has devoted her career to making the library a place for resources that are accessible and relevant to the community, promoting literacy in the City and the region.  She is remarkably gifted at resource management, including the oversight of a group of highly committed personnel, and quality inventory.  Mrs. Mello has a keen ability to prioritize approaches that provide for the City’s highest level of service to the public.

Her achievements include:

  • Establishment of the Literacy and Mobile Books Services (LAMBS) to bridge geographic isolation – With funding from the Imperial County Children & Families First Commission since 2001, LAMBS redefines the library as a fixed place by meeting pre-school children at their places of learning throughout the far reaches of Imperial County, including serving residents of the Quechan nation.  The LAMBS partnership with Riverside County Office of Education Migrant Head Start Program was recently recognized by the California School Boards Association with the prestigious Golden Bell Award.

  • Launch of the City’s technological modernization - As the City’s representative to Imperial Valley Telecommunications Authority (IVTA) since 2005, Mrs. Mello has leveraged technical resources to enable the Brawley Library to usher in a new era of public access to the internet and electronic media.  The IVTA provides broadband internet service to cities, school districts, regional hospitals and other local governmental agencies. 

  • 2008 Opening of the Del Rio Branch Library embedded in the City’s highest density residential area – In a time when branch libraries were shrinking, the Brawley Library expanded access through a joint use partnership with the Imperial County Office of Education.  In a historically underserved area, the Del Rio facility is a full service library branch that offers public access workstations, story time for children and a variety of adult literacy services.  Walkability and neighborhood accessibility are key characteristics of the branch location. 

  • Commitment to the Achievement of English Language Adult Literacy.  With the State of California’s 30 year support, the Brawley Library has offered the City’s Adult Literacy Program, including one on one tutoring, small group classes, English conversation classes and computer classes.  Culturally and linguistically integrated approaches are at the center of efforts to expand the City’s spectrum of library patrons.

Mrs. Mello resides in Brawley with her husband of forty-one years, Michael.  They moved to Imperial Valley in 1979 to serve as group home parents to teenagers.  Brawley’s rural, small town atmosphere allows Mrs. Mello to pursue her passions and see the results of her efforts first hand in her everyday work with local residents.