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

Announcing California Humanities’ 2021 Library Innovation Lab Awardees

Providing support to 10 library staff members to develop programs that respond to the needs of immigrant communities. 

April 20, 2021
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Cherie Hill, Communications Manager, 
Image / Courtesy of Home Gardens Library

(Oakland, CA) —California Humanities is pleased to announce awards for the 2021 Library Innovation Lab (LIL) grant program to ten public libraries spanning the state from Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Coast, Los Angeles, Orange County, the Inland Empire, and San Diego. Now entering its fifth year, this nationally recognized program supports California’s public libraries in welcoming newcomers and fostering more inclusive communities across our state. To date, 52 California libraries have participated in the program, reaching over 40,000 Californians through engaging humanities programming. 

LIL provides a nine-month practice-based professional development experience plus $5000 grant to participating libraries. Throughout 2021, the new cohort members will research, design, implement and assess a small-scale, short-term public humanities project at their library. Working in a collaborative learning environment that incorporates group meetings and individualized advisingparticipants acquire additional skills and knowledge by experimenting with new approaches to programming, building confidence, and developing capacity while working with immigrants and other audiences. 

The Library Innovation Lab program continues to grow in capacity to serve our expansive state,” President & CEO Julie fry shares. We are proud of the selected grantees, and we look forward to supporting their programs that connect with immigrant communities.  

2021 Library Innovation Lab Awardees: 

Lizette Guerra, Librarian III 
Orange Public Library 

Katrina Lacerna, Asian Pacific Resource Center Librarian 
Asian Pacific Resource Center Rosemead Library, LA County Library 

Eric Castro, Senior Library Technician 
Santa Barbara Public Library 

Curita Tinker, Library Assistant 
Haskett Branch, Anaheim Public Library 

Jacqueline Macias, Librarian II 
Chula Vista Public Library 

Charmaine Mendez, Adult Services Librarian 
Moreno Valley Public Library 

Jacqueline Danziger, Librarian II 
Felton Branch, Santa Cruz Public Libraries 

Denise Lopez Gomez, Branch Manager Intern 
Coachella Library, Riverside County Library System 

Patricia Mallari, Librarian 
San Leandro Public Library 

Ana Dawe, Branch Manager 
Cloverdale Regional Library, Sonoma County Library System 

Library Innovation Lab is supported in part by the Wells Fargo Foundation and the generosity of individual donors throughout California. Learn more here. 

About California Humanities:
California Humanities, a nonprofit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, promotes the humanities—focused on ideas, conversation and learning—as relevant, meaningful ways to understand the human condition and connect people to each other in order to help strengthen California. California Humanities has provided grants and programs across the state since 1975. To learn more, visit, or like and follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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