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Mid-Continent Public Library has a new full-time person in the top job for the first time in more than a decade, hiring a longtime library executive from Cleveland.

Aaron Mason will start as MCPL’s director and CEO on Jan. 17, after a vote this week by the board of trustees, according to a release from the library.

Mason spent almost 20 years at Cleveland Public Library, most recently as senior director of outreach and programming services — and where he started in 2004 as a library assistant in a branch, according to this LinkedIn profile.

MCPL Board President Ronald Thiewes called Mason an “esteemed librarian,” according to the library’s release. At Cleveland Public Library, which has 27 branches, Mason worked to expand its reach through partnerships and initiatives, fulfilling his mission of removing roadblocks and creating “an environment where people of all ages can dream, create and grow,” he said in the release.

In his new job at MCPL, Mason will oversee 33 branches that serve 850,000 people in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties.

The library’s programs include offerings such as a culinary literacy center; Square One Small Business Services, which offers workshops, access to information and one-on-one consulting; and workshops helping entrepreneurs get into the food truck business.