A FIRESIDE CHAT: THE ROLE OF THE LIBRARY IN L.A.’s CHANGING LANDSCAPE
Join us on Wednesday, March 29, for an exclusive discussion about gap-bridging programs like Tech2Go, thought-provoking initiatives like Creators in Residence, and how the Library continues to adapt to and address the most urgent issues of our city. This insightful program features John F. Szabo, City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, and Stacy Lieberman, President and CEO of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, in conversation, moderated by Natalia Molina, a Distinguished Professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
John F. Szabo is the City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, which serves over four million people—the largest population of any public library in the United States. He oversees the Central Library and 72 branches. Under his leadership, the Library’s major initiatives include those related to immigrant integration and citizenship, improving financial literacy, and providing health resources and programs. He has expanded the library’s reach into the city’s diverse communities through partnerships with several community-based organizations. He has more than 25 years of leadership experience in public libraries, previously serving as the director of four libraries including the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of OCLC and on the Board of Directors for the University of Southern California’s Center for Library Leadership and Management. He has previously served on the Executive Boards of the Urban Libraries Council and California Humanities and as president of the Florida Library Association.
Stacy Lieberman, an innovative and inclusive leader, is an expert in the dynamic field of arts and culture in Los Angeles. Currently the president and CEO of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, Stacy has more than 20 years of experience in senior leadership positions at iconic L.A. arts, non-profit, and educational institutions such as The Broad, the Autry Museum of the American West, and the Skirball Cultural Center. Building on an early career in book publishing, she has dedicated her professional life to sharing stories and welcoming visitors and students of all ages and backgrounds to experience educational, arts, and cultural opportunities. A mission-driven, collaborative, and leading-edge executive, she is known for enhancing the narratives of public institutions to help them engage more broadly with local communities. She has a track record of success in building awareness and support, expanding access, prioritizing equity, and developing mutually beneficial partnerships. She serves on a number of boards, including the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, and her work has been recognized by the Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards, the Los Angeles Business Journal, the American Alliance of Museums, and Independent Publisher, among others. Stacy received a bachelor’s degree cum laude in English and French from Tufts University and a master’s degree in English from Wayne State University.
Natalia Molina, Ph.D is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Her research explores the interconnected histories of race, place, gender, culture, and citizenship. She is the author of the award-winning books, How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts and Fit to Be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1940. Her most recent book is A Place at the Nayarit: How a Mexican Restaurant Nourished a Community, on immigrant workers as placemakers —including her grandmother—who nurtured and fed the community through the restaurants they established, which served as urban anchors. In addition to publishing widely in scholarly journals, she has also written for the LA Times, Washington Post, San Diego Union-Tribune, and more. Professor Molina is a 2020 MacArthur Fellow. At the University of California, San Diego, she served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity and as the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities. She served a six-year term on the board of California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and currently serves on several boards, including those of the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens and the Scholars Council for the Library of Congress.