Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120

Thomas Vose Branch Manager of Library
Leaves for Promotion

Thomas Vose, pictured here outside the Cesar E. Chavez Library in Perris, is credited with helping make the library a more people-friendly place.
Thomas Vose, pictured here outside the Cesar E. Chavez Library in Perris, is credited with helping make the library a more people-friendly place.

Thomas Vose, the branch manager of the Cesar E. Chavez Public Library in Perris who introduced many new programs and recreated the library as a community gathering-spot, left his job for a promotion in Palmdale.

Vose said goodbye to Perris Thursday and started his new job the following day in the high desert community, which is about twice as large as Perris but has a library just half the size of the Chavez branch.

In his new position as director of the Palmdale City Library, Vose will take on added administrative duties including budgeting and personal management.

Vose said he thoroughly enjoyed his time in Perris and credited the City with helping support the library and making his job easier. In recent years, the City of Perris has contributed more than $150,000 to repair to repair the library’s heating and air-conditioning systems and roof, fund new Internet work stations and material acquisition. “The City has been a great partner,” Vose said.”They have been very supportive of our programs and for that support I am truly grateful.” Vose became branch manager of the Perris library in April 2010.

Previously, he had work for the Riverside County Library System in Lake Elsinore and Temecula. Since then, he has implemented a series of programs to attract more and more people to the Chavez library. Those include staging Dungeons and Dragons tournaments, screening classic movies, organizing lectures about current events of Perris’ ancient past, inviting residents to make sculptures out of Rice Krispies or conducting citizenship classes for immigrants. The library had conducted tax-preparation classes, crocheting classes, purchased locks so bike-riding patrons could protect their transportation and installed a new permanent local history display.

Vose wrote grants that allowed the Chavez Library to obtain iPads and books by African-American authors. “Libraries can be just about anything you want them to be,” he said. “Everybody has a story to tell. If you have an interest, you can share it. Vose was a regular at Perris City Council meetings, providing monthly updates about upcoming programs and events. During his tenure, the library increased the number of regular patrons.

About 11,000 residents visit monthly and the Perris branch counts about 12,000-active users. The branch ranks first in programming geared for young adults. Last year, 1,100 youngsters took part in the library’s summer reading program. City officials praised Vose for his commitment to Perris at the Feb. 26 City Council meeting when he announced he was taking the position in Palmdale.

Perris Mayor Pro-Tem Mark Yarbrough, who entertained patrons with his own puppet show, said Vose transformed the library into a place where all residents felt wanted and welcome. “It’s really become a community center,” Yarbrough said. “You’ve made the library what it should be.”

Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez praised Vose for his “awesome” work in Perris.” “I’m sorry to see you go,” Rodriguez said. Perris Mayor Daryl Busch said simply: “You will be missed.”

Vose said that while the benefits of using libraries are often realized immediately—when a student completes a research paper or a senior learns about the side effects of a prescription—some gains don’t become apparent for years or even decades. A lesson learned may spark an interest in a career or hobby that blossoms many years later and enriches a life, a family or an entire community. “Sometimes, we’ll never know what good we’ve done,” Vose said. “All you can do is have faith that you’re doing your best and you’re helping people.”

Vose and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of two sons; Jacob, 4, and Joshua, 1.