College Librarian & Managing Director, Library
A first-generation library user, advocate and nationally recognized leader among library professionals, Mario A. Ascencio is the college librarian and managing director of the library at ArtCenter College of Design.
Previously, during his visionary leadership as library director at the Corcoran Gallery of Art / Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C., Ascencio revolutionized library operations. The addition of new educational technologies, social media and digital repository systems created new efficiencies that dramatically improved the user experience for the Corcoran’s wide variety of patrons.
As a leader, Ascencio is keenly aware of the important issues faced by colleges and universities and how vital libraries are in supporting overall goals and objectives, including diversity, equity, and inclusion; affordability, and student success. He has been an invited speaker for the United States Department of State Office of International Information Programs to present lectures, keynote addresses, workshops, webcasts and participate in media interviews in Argentina, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and Uruguay. In 2008, Library Journal named him a Mover & Shaker in recognition of his commitment to improving and promoting library services at the national and international level.
Innovation has long been part of his portfolio. In 2006, he was elected president of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking. In this role, he led the organization’s 40 board members, more than 800 association members and 26 chapters throughout the U.S.
Previously, he worked as the Visual Arts liaison librarian at George Mason University (GMU) in Fairfax, Virginia, and as the librarian for Latino Research at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He has held positions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the UCLA Arts Library, the Getty Research Institute Research Library and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In 2008, he served as a member of the honorary committee for the UCLA Department of Information Studies 50th Anniversary Celebration.
He received his master’s of library and information science from UCLA, and his BA in art history with a minor in Italian from California State University, Northridge.