City of Long Beach, CA

11/23/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/23/2021 14:18

Library Services Director Announces Retirement After 40 Years with the City

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Long Beach, CA - The City of Long Beach announced today the upcoming retirement of Library Services Director Glenda Williams, a longtime employee of the City. Ms. Williams dedicated her entire 40-year City career in the Department of Library Services, serving as director since 2009.

"Thanks to Glenda's leadership, vision, and dedication to our community, residents young and old have had access to a diverse collection of books, literary programs and educational resources," said City Manager Tom Modica. "We are grateful for the many decades Glenda has contributed to our city, and we wish her the best of luck in her well-deserved retirement."

Over the course of her career with the Long Beach Public Library (Library), Ms. Williams worked at each of the 12 Library locations and in City Hall in both public facing service roles and in various technology and advocacy roles behind-the-scenes. She began in 1981 as a library page - responsible for putting books back in their proper locations - and has since held positions such as library clerk, general librarian, department librarian, bureau manager and director. During her time with the Library, Ms. Williams helped transition the City to new literary and technological frontiers; from the opening of the City's first public computer center in 2000, to twice migrating the Library's vast collection catalogue and patron accounts to new, integrated library systems.

As director, she led the effort to bring high-speed, low-cost internet and WiFi to the Library, the same service available at all California public schools, colleges and universities, through the Library's participation in the Corporation of Educational Network Initiatives in California; oversaw the planning and development of three brand new state-of-the-art Library locations, Mark Twain Library in 2007, Michelle Obama Library in 2016, and BJK Main Library in 2019; received the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the highest honor given to museums and libraries demonstrating excellence in service to their communities; and guided staff to providing safe, innovative library services to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, among many other accomplishments.

"It has been a pleasure serving the young readers and lifelong learners of our Long Beach community throughout my 40-year career with the City," said Ms. Williams. "I am so grateful for my dedicated Library staff and all they do to help our residents meet their personal and educational goals. I look forward to seeing all they will continue to do for the betterment of our community."

Ms. Williams' last day with the City will be Dec. 30. The City will assign an interim director while it conducts a national recruitment to permanently fill the position.