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’ Library Innovation Lab Awardees

April 5, 2022
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Cherie Hill, Communications Manager, 
Image / Courtesy of Santa Barbara Public Library

Providing support to 11 library staff members to develop programs that respond to the needs of immigrant communities.

(Oakland, CA) — California Humanities is delighted to announce awards for the 2022 Library Innovation Lab (LIL) grant program to eleven public libraries in rural, suburban, and urban communities across the state including Northern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Valley, and Southern California — Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and San Diego counties.

Entering its sixth year, this nationally recognized program supports California’s public libraries in welcoming newcomers and fostering more inclusive communities. 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 and grants of up to $5,000 to participating libraries. Throughout 2022, 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 as well as individualized advising, they will acquire new skills and knowledge by experimenting with new approaches to programming and developing capacity to work with immigrants and other key audiences. Afghan, Filipino/a, Mexican, and South Asian immigrants will be among the immigrant groups that will be the focus of this cohort’s work.

“We are proud to welcome this cohort to Library Innovation Lab,” said Julie Fry, President & CEO of California Humanities. “The libraries in this group represent a wide swath of California’s geographic and cultural diversity, and the library staff hold a wide range of experiences; some are immigrants themselves. We know that they’ll continue to build capacity for California libraries to serve all communities in our state, from newly arrived immigrants to longtime residents.”

2022 Library Innovation Lab Awardees:

Jovanna Ayala
Sonoma County Library Adult Literacy Program

Marisa Saam
University Park Branch Library, Orange County Public Libraries

Eric Cardoso
Los Altos Neighborhood Library, Long Beach Public Library System

Becky Machetta
Alameda County Library

Farima Kafai
Old Town Newhall Branch Library, City of Santa Clarita Public Library

Maureen Hogan
Escondido Public Library

Marika Garcia
Sutter County Library

Toktam Gholami
Woodland Hills Branch, Los Angeles Public Library

Fabiola Orozco
Delano Branch Library, Kern County Library System

The 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.



Related Articles