The Museum of Ventura County has announced Deya Terrafranca as its new library and archives director. Terrafranca will be responsible for managing all aspects of the regional special collection and historical research library, including collection development and supervision of more than 20 volunteers.
Terrafranca’s appointment follows the retirement of Charles Johnson, who came to Ventura County nearly 30 years ago to take the position as librarian and became the Museum’s longest serving staff member.
The library houses more than 170,000 items relating to Ventura County’s history including maps, photographs, newspapers, books, periodicals, manuscripts, oral histories and video tapes, including many rare and one-of-a-kind, articles of incorporation and other county records.
“One of the Museum’s goals is to increase the public’s accessibility to the full breadth of the incredible library collection that has been amassed under the leadership of Charles, the Museum’s Accessions Committee and its many volunteers,” said Elena Brokaw, the Museum’s Barbara Barnard Smith executive director. “Deya’s experience working with Charles on this goal will help maintain continuity in moving it forward.”
In addition, Terrafranca will spearhead the Museum’s commitment to ensure that all at-risk collections are conserved and properly cared for, and that the entire collection is housed in one consolidated, climate controlled and ADA-compliant space that allows discovery, instruction, research, and collaboration.
Terrafranca has worked at the Museum for nearly two years in a variety of positions from visitors’ services and administrative support staff to advancement director, responsible for cultivating corporate and individual donor opportunities, increasing membership and developing and promoting the museum’s diverse programming, events and exhibits. Terrafranca holds a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in sculpture and political science from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia.
In her library experience Terrafranca has worked in administration, cataloguing, reference, research, circulation, and programming. She has served as programs coordinator, supervising city librarian and assistant director of library systems in Ventura and West Virginia. In those roles she launched library renovations and new programs including collections reorganizations and building renovations.
“As a librarian, my experiences in libraries have ingrained a deep respect for a sense of place; I believe our history can help us connect to that sense of place and create a sense of belonging. I think belonging is critical to active engagement in our community’s life and future. The first-year plan for the library is to increase the public’s access to the full breadth of the incredible library collection which has been amassed under the leadership of former librarian Charles Johnson, the Museum’s Accessions Committee, and many additional volunteers. My goal is to ensure that all at risk collections are conserved and properly cared for, and that the entire collection is housed in one consolidated, climate controlled, and ADA compliant space that allows discovery, instruction, research, and collaboration. That goal is several years out but we are getting jump start on it! The community’s access to this rich cultural history has to be expanded and that will take place through a consolidated catalog, online access to the collection contents, and digitization of items like maps and photographs.”
“We are thrilled to have someone with Deya’s qualifications take over the role of library and archives director,” said Kate McLean, the Museum’s board chair. “Her extensive knowledge and library expertise, coupled with her first-hand experience with the Museum, makes her an ideal person to step into the role. We will support her efforts in every way possible.”