Long Beach Public Library Foundation


Long Beach, CA (December 27, 2021) – The Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors has announced that Veronica Garcia Dávalos will be taking the role of Executive Director/CEO on January 17, 2022. Dávalos will lead the Library Foundation as it begins a new era having just celebrated its 25th anniversary year and more than $25 million raised for programs and resources at the City’s 12 public libraries since its founding.

Dávalos has been a resident of Long Beach since 1994 and is the current Executive Director of the Greater Long Beach, South Bay, Metro, and Southeast Los Angeles Chapter of the American Red Cross. She has devoted her entire career to the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors and has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit management. Prior to her role with the American Red Cross, Dávalos served as the Vice President of Advocacy and Community Engagement for Habitat for Humanity Greater Los Angeles affiliate. She also directed several capital campaigns as Vice President of Netzel Grisby, a management and consulting firm specializing in nonprofit organizations and institutions. During her career, Dávalos held various executive positions at MoLAA, TELACU Education Foundation, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, KCET, and the Boys Scouts of America.

In addition to her work leading nonprofit organizations, Dávalos serves on the Long Beach Citizens Police Complaint Commission, is a past president of Leadership Long Beach, and co-founder of the United Latino Fund and National Latina Alliance. She received the Nuestra Imagen Award from Centro CHA in 2015 and the Go Long Beach Award from Mayor Robert Garcia in 2017.

“This year, we have had so much to celebrate; the Library Foundation’s 25th anniversary, the Library’s 125th anniversary, and the safe reopening of the 12 public libraries!” said M. Lissette Flores, Library Foundation Board President. “As we look toward what’s next for the Library Foundation, Veronica’s many years of experience in nonprofit management and serving communities who depend on public library resources make her the perfect fit to lead our organization. We look forward to all she will accomplish as we work to develop a strong, sustainable, and successful future for the Library Foundation and the Library.”

“I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to lead the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. The Foundation is well positioned to continue to build on the tremendous momentum of the past 25 years, and I look forward to being a part of the effort to ensure support for our libraries and their invaluable programs.”

Dávalos joins the Library Foundation following the departure of former Executive Director/CEO Kate Azar in June of this year, after more than five years leading the organization. Under Azar’s leadership, the Library Foundation held its most successful campaigns and initiatives, including its campaign for programs, technology, and materials at the Billie Jean King Main Library, which was completed in 2020 and raised more than $3.3 million. Since Azar’s departure, Kathy McCarrell has led the organization as Interim Executive Director of the Library Foundation and has ensured a seamless and thoughtful transition to permanent leadership.

The Library Foundation Welcomes Interim Executive Director Kathy McCarrell

The Library Foundation Board of Directors would like to introduce Kathy McCarrell who has been hired to serve as the Interim Executive Director of the Foundation in order to ensure a seamless and thoughtful transition to permanent leadership.

Kathy, a Senior Consultant with the Third Sector Company, comes to the Foundation with over 25 years of experience leading key non-profits in Southern California, having most recently steered the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation through their management transition. Kathy also served as the Interim Executive Director of the Long Beach Day Nursery. She is an avid reader and an enthusiastic advocate of providing equal access to literacy, education, and technology for all members of the Long Beach community.  

The programming that is offered through the Long Beach Public Library as a result of the support of LBPLF is exceptional,” said Kathy, “I am very impressed with the staff and the board at LBPLF and look forward to working with them to continue the great work of the Foundation – without missing a beat.”

Kathy will be starting on June 28th after spending a week with outgoing Executive Director Kate Azar drawing from her vast knowledge of the Foundation’s operations and mission. “It has been a great experience working with Kate. The Long Beach community and Board of Directors can count on the fact that Kate built a strong foundation, poised for exponential growth to meet the needs of a  community that is in greater need than ever.”  Please feel free to contact Kathy anytime at (562) 628-2441 ext.5.


As the Library Foundation emerges strong from the pandemic, the search begins for a new ED/CEO to continue the Foundation’s 25 years of community impact.

Long Beach, CA (June 4, 2021) – Later this month, Long Beach Public Library Foundation Executive Director/CEO Kate Azar will step down after more than five years of service. In this, the Library Foundation’s 25th anniversary year, the Board of Directors is launching the search to find their next leader.

“We will remember Kate as the executive director who brought professionalism, structure, and effectiveness to the Foundation’s management,” said Renee Simon, Library Foundation Director Emerita and public affairs committee member.

During her tenure, Azar led the Library Foundation in raising more than $15 million for Long Beach Libraries and literacy initiatives. She’s credited with strengthening the organization, helping to dramatically increase its supporters, and build its profile in the community. Among her many accomplishments, Azar led the two most successful fundraising campaigns in the Library Foundation’s history. A 2016 campaign for programs, technology, and enhancements to the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library raised more than $1 million. A campaign for similar resources at the Billie Jean King Main Library ended in September 2020 and raised more than $3.3 million. Under Azar’s leadership, the Library Foundation earned the highest levels of recognition for robust financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator and GuideStar, the two largest independent evaluators for nonprofit organizations in the country.

“After five-and-a-half years at the helm of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation, Kate has left an indelible mark with her inspiring dedication and commitment to literacy in Long Beach,” said M. Lissette Flores, President of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. “We have accomplished a tremendous amount under Kate’s leadership, and she leaves us in a strong position to continue providing a wide array of literacy programs to the many communities in Long Beach.”

“I joined the Library Foundation as interim-executive director with the intention to only stay a few months. I immediately fell in love with the organization, its mission, and the dedicated Board and staff. I am proud of what we have accomplished,” said Azar. “We are fortunate to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever… because we have work to do. Libraries remain a critical community resource – working tirelessly to serve the community even as doors were closed to prevent the spread of Covid19. They provided resources to parents, students trying to learn from home, and seniors staving off boredom and isolation. They will be a part of Long Beach’s economic recovery, helping people get their lives and livelihoods back on track. I am grateful to all those who supported our work, recognizing that libraries are the best investment one can make in our community.”

While she is excited about what lies ahead for her professionally Kate has accepted a senior role at a social enterprise consultancy she will remain connected to the Library as a supporter and patron. “Long Beach libraries will always hold a special place in my heart,” said Azar.

The Library Foundation will continue the year-long celebration of its 25th and the Library’s 125th year of service to the Long Beach community. The Board has formed a transition committee to oversee the hire of an interim executive director and a thorough search for a new executive director. The interim executive director will ensure a smooth transition following Azar’s departure and will lead the Library Foundation as it prepares for the anticipated return of its annual wine tasting gala, Grape Expectations, on September 19 at the Museum of Latin American Art. The executive director job description and application instructions are available at https://www.lbplfoundation.org/job-opportunities.

About the Long Beach Public Library Foundation: The Library Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides support to enhance the Long Beach Public Library and encourages literacy and education for all members of the community. LBPLfoundation.org