California Public Library Advocates Grant Two Awards to Oakland Public Library

Release Date: 
Wed, 10/30/2013

Two Oakland Public Library officials—one a volunteer commissioner and the other the current head of the City of Oakland’s library system—will receive awards for outstanding service on November 4 during the 2013 California Library Association’s annual conference in Long Beach. 

Oakland Public Library’s Advisory Commission Chair Kathryn Sterbenc will receive the Award for Outstanding Service to a Local Library from the California Public Library Advocates (CPLA).  Ms. Sterbenc was appointed to the Library Advisory Commission (LAC) by the Mayor of Oakland in November 2010, and less than 1½ years into her term was elected Chair of the Commission in July 2012. Since her election, she has led the Commission through two retreats; the first with an ambitious agenda to reenergize the LAC; and the second with the development of a work plan for 2014 to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Oakland Public Library.

CPLA will also recognize the Oakland Public Library’s Interim Library Director Gerry Garzón with the award for Librarian for Outstanding Work with a Board of Trustees or Commission or Friends or Foundation. According to LAC Vice Chair, Shanthi Gonzales, “He has been a committed partner to us as leaders of the Commission. He shares our goal of building a strong commission that is a strong advocate for library services and is willing to show up to anything, on the shortest of notice, to help us be successful.”

Together, the two awards recognize the 14-member volunteer Commission’s accomplishments over the past year to raise the awareness among local elected officials and the general public about the role libraries play in building stronger community. For example, Commissioners attended and spoke on behalf of the library at every City of Oakland public budget hearing and town hall meeting on the budget and public safety held throughout the City in April–June 2013.

The CPLA’s mission is to strengthen California libraries through Advocacy and Education.  CPLA board volunteers conduct annual workshops on issues important to California trustees, commissioners, Friends, and Foundations.

For information, please contact Winifred Walters, Community Relations Manager, at 510-238- 6932 or

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