Cerritos College

Carl BengstonCarl Bengston will retire from his position as dean of the Cerritos College Library and Learning Resource Center on January 31st, after 40+ years in academic libraries. Carl began his varied career as an undergraduate student and library assistant in the Doe Library at UC Berkeley. After completing his MLIS at the University of Oregon, he accepted his first professional position as Humanities Cataloger at Cal Tech’s Milikan library in Pasadena. From there he went to work as an OCLC Coordinator (that’s right, he’s a “net-vet”), first for the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA) and then for OCLC Western, when it was operating out of the Claremont Colleges Honnold Library. This experience prepared him for his next job, first as the General Library’s System Services Librarian and subsequently as Moffitt Library’s Director of Technical Services, back at UC Berkeley.

Carl’s first directorship was at Dominican College in San Rafael, now Dominican University of California, where he was the Director of Library and Information Technology Services. After seven years at Dominican, he accepted the position of Dean of Library Services at CSU Stanislaus, packing up his family, leaving his Bay Area roots behind, and setting down new roots in Turlock and the Central Valley. (Actually, he learned that he already had roots in Turlock, where his grandfather had lived and pastored a Swedish congregation for a time in the 1920’s.) Carl retired from CSU Stanislaus after ten years of service as the library dean there, but he decided he really needed to work in each and every sector of California higher education before retiring for good, so he accepted the deanship at a big community college in southern California, Cerritos College, where he has worked for the past six years, enjoying every minute.

Carl has even enjoyed his weekly commute between his home in Turlock and  his job in SoCal (five hours each way, up and down Hwy 99!). Thanks to audiobooks, he’s worked his way through just about every one of Charles Dickens’ novels and rekindled his passion for fiction in general and 19th Century literature specifically. During his retirement, Carl says he plans to continue to satisfy that passion and read everything he hasn’t had time to read since graduating from college, raising his family, and working full time as a librarian. This and a long list of postponed home improvements are sure to keep him very busy. Hopefully he’ll still have time to maintain his swimming regimen and a little golf, too…