Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Humanities Awards $60,000 to Libraries Across California

May 10, 2018

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Jody Sahota


(Oakland, CA) Twelve public libraries across the state of California will receive support from California Humanities as part of the second year of their Library Innovation Lab program. The program is designed to explore new ways of engaging immigrant communities through public humanities programming. California Humanities is a state-wide humanities nonprofit that connects Californians to ideas and to one another and this program is a prime example of their work.

Each library will receive up to $5,000 to support public programs, along with an intensive program of training and technical support provided to the participating librarians over the course of this year. Projects developed by the 2017 cohort included a live participatory storytelling “jam session”, a series of photography workshops resulting in a book and exhibition, and the use of virtual reality technology to make it possible to  “walk a mile” in an immigrant’s shoes. 

“Libraries have long been a natural partner to us.” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “We have found that the Library Innovation Lab cohort of librarians has inspired new community connections, and we look forward to welcoming our second group of libraries to join us.”

Library Innovation Lab 2018 COHORT PARTICIPANTS

Anaheim Public Library
Guadalupe Gomez, Library Services Manager

Whittier Public Library
Jacqueline Sanchez, Librarian

County of Los Angeles Public Library – Florence/Firestone Branch
Julian Zamora, Community Library Manager

Riverside County Library System- Glen Avon Library
Tracie Randolph, Library Manager

Oakland Public Library
Erin Sanders, Branch Manager

Oceanside Public Library
Kris Moralez, Community Outreach Coordinator

Fresno County Public Library
Mary Wise, Teen Services Librarian

Kern County Libraries – Delano Branch Library
Fahra Daredia, Branch Supervisor

Watsonville Public Library
Alicia Martinez, Senior Librarian

Sutter County Library – Yuba City Branch
Ayla Elkins, Literacy Coordinator

Ventura County Library
Yvonne Becerra, Literacy & Outreach Assistant

Santa Cruz Public Libraries
Lorena Lopez, Library Assistant

Michelle Gordon,

Supervising Librarian for the WoW! (Without Walls) Department, Fresno County Public Library (2017 Cohort Alumna)

Joy Whatley,
City Librarian, Chula Vista Public Library (2017 Cohort Alumna)


California Humanities promotes the humanities—focused on ideas, conversation, and learning—as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect us to each other in order to help strengthen California. An independent non-profit and partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more visit or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.



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