Developing Library Leadership to Strengthen Community Services

Leaders at the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) recognize that for the institution to be successful in the digital age, it must embrace the challenges and opportunities of more fully engaging with communities and find new ways to cater to their changing needs. Through its 73 branches, the LAPL serves more than 4 million people, a large percentage of whom are non-native English speakers. The library’s resources are especially vital for underserved communities, helping them bridge the technology gap and offering programs that help them access educational resources, become citizens, and find jobs, housing, and healthcare.

As librarians’ functions continue to shift, LAPL, which employs more than 1,500 people, many of whom will become eligible for retirement this year, is seeking to create a leadership development plan that will foster creative, forward-looking leaders who will embrace the changes. To support this work, FUSE executive fellow Julie Lamba will supervise a pilot implementation of the program and plan a strategy for its viability going forward.