Patty Ayala Ross didn’t grow up in a reading household. In fact, she didn’t get her first library card until she was in her 20s.
As a self-proclaimed voracious reader, it seems fitting Ross has made her passion her career. Ross was recently named the Library Services director at the Puyallup Public Library.
Since Ross started at the Puyallup Library six weeks ago, she’s worked the desks, seen the customer flow and gotten to know the facility.
“I’ve seen an outpouring of community support,” she said. “Many have expressed to me their love and support of this place.”
Ross comes to Puyallup from the Shelton Timberland Library, where she managed the library for the last 10 years. Ross graduated from Kelso High School, and has both her bachelor’s and master’s in English Literature from Portland State University, and has a master’s in library science from the University of Arizona.
“I wasn’t looking for a new job when I saw the posting,” Ross said. “But when I saw it, I had been working in Shelton for 10 years and had done everything I could there. I’ve always worked for library systems, and here I have the autonomy to affect the library directly. It was the next step for me, so I applied. This is where I’m supposed to be.”
When she first arrived in Puyallup, the first thing Ross noticed was the park adjacent to the library building, something she had always wanted while working in Shelton.
“This library has all the makings of being a great, world-class library,” she said. “People really care and are invested in the civic process. This library is prime in the minds of the city administrators and citizens. It’s an amazing opportunity.”
Of Ross’s goals as Library Services director, she says increasing downloadable content including E-books and audio books for library patrons is at the top of her list. Citing that 40 percent of Puyallup citizens commute, downloadable content will get more people reading more often.
Puyallup City Manager Kevin Yamamoto says he is excited to have Ross and her passionate and can-do attitude on board.
“Patty is willing to take on big projects,” he said. “She has a big personality to help move and lead people.”
Yamamoto says Ross will help shape the vision of the library’s future.
“We are delighted to have Patty on board,” he said. “She will be a great asset in Puyallup.”
Combining the Puyallup library’s location, the community support, and a great staff, Ross says, “I’ve landed in Oz ... I’m in Mecca. I have a new energy to make this place great.”