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Michael Lambert elevated to lead SF Public Library system

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed has chosen Michael Lambert as City Librarian for the San Francisco Public Library — The City’s first Asian-American to lead the 28-branch system.

Lambert has been serving as the acting city librarian for more than a year now since City Librarian Luis Herrera retired in February 2018. Before his position as acting city librarian, Lambert had been the deputy city librarian since March 2014, overseeing services at the Main Library and The City’s library branches.

Breed said in a statement of Lambert’s appointment:

“Through forward-thinking initiatives likes eliminating burdensome fees that disproportionately affect low-income and minority residents, the San Francisco Public Library continues to serve as a critical public resource. I am confident that under Michael’s leadership, the Library will continue to expand its commitment to equity and access for all of our communities.”

Both Breed and Lambert worked on getting the library to go fine-free, which passed the Library Commission in January. Going fine-free still needs approval from the Board of Supervisors.

In a statement, President of the Library Commission Mary Wardell Ghirarduzzi, praised Lambert’s efforts to provide equal access to the library’s resources:

“During the past year, Michael Lambert has exemplified the qualities that San Francisco seeks in its library leader: a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in library programs, strong fiscal oversight of the system, and a dynamic vision for library service innovations.”

Ghirarduzzi added:

“I’m so pleased that we are able to promote from within our staff and elevate Michael to the City Librarian.”

Lambert earned his degree in history from the University of South Carolina and his Master of Library and Information Science Degree from South Carolina’s College of Library & Information Science.

Lambert began his career at the Richland Library in Columbia, South Carolina and managed operations at San Mateo County libraries and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in North Carolina before his stint in The City.

The new city librarian said in a statement:

“I look forward to working with the Library Commission and the passionate, dedicated staff to enhance the quality of life for all residents of San Francisco. San Francisco has the premier urban library in the country and I am humbled to be standing on the shoulders of giants as the next City Librarian.”

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