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Villaraigosa names new Los Angeles librarian

June 14, 2012 |  6:07 pm

John SzaboLos Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has selected a new librarian to head the city's sprawling, $113-million-a-year library system.

John Szabo, whose appointment was announced Thursday, comes from Atlanta, where he has been the director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System since 2005. While there, he implemented an online learning program, established an archive of material related to gays and lesbians and expanded the system's African American culture and history archives, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Public Library.

Villaraigosa said in the statement Szabo is uniquely qualified to lead Los Angeles "into a new era of innovation, expanded services and enhanced accessibility.”

Szabo was selected in a nationwide search launched after the previous librarian, Martin Gomez, left two months ago. Szabo's appointment must be confirmed by the City Council.

If approved, Szabo will arrive at a turning point for Los Angeles' libraries, according to the system's spokesman, Peter Persic. "This is a critical time for libraries here and around the world as we refine our role in a digital, post-paper world," he said.

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-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall

twitter.com/katelinthicum

Photo: John Szabo. Credit: Los Angeles Public Library

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