Long Beach Public Library Foundation

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Olga Chavez, Empowering Community and Corporate Social Responsibility Leader

Top leaders of the world have the exceptional simple habit of reading. Whether for enjoyment or enrichment, reading stimulates the mind and fuels creativity. Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads.

In celebration of Mother’s Day and the power of community engagement, Long Beach Leaders are Readers proudly presents Olga Chavez, Corporate Social Responsibility Leader at Marathon Petroleum Corporation, highlighting her philanthropic journey and dedication to empowering Southern California communities.

Continue reading to learn more about Ms. Chavez’s book recommendation and the leader behind it.

La Edad De Oro (The Golden Age)

by 

José Martí

Meet Olga Chavez:

What made you choose La Edad de Oro as your recommendation?

This book, La Edad de Oro, holds a special place in my heart because it embodies the spirit of resilience, hope, and the pursuit of knowledge despite adversity. José Martí, a Cuban icon of independence and freedom, first published this book in 1889. For me, this book was not just a collection of stories; it was a beacon of light during challenging times.

Martí’s words, penned in exile, spoke of a Cuba he longed to see—one where children were nurtured with love, educated with wisdom, and inspired to dream boldly. As a Cuban myself, La Edad de Oro reminded me of the importance of preserving my heritage, even when far from home. It taught me to cherish my culture, language, and history, no matter where life took me.

This book resonates with me because it represents the resilience of the human spirit, the power of education, and the beauty of dreaming beyond one’s circumstances. It reminds me that even in the darkest of times, there is always a glimmer of hope, a spark of inspiration that can ignite change and illuminate the path forward.

I believe La Edad de Oro can inspire others by showing them that literature is not just words on a page; it is a mirror reflecting our deepest aspirations and a window into a world of possibilities. It encourages readers to embrace their heritage, celebrate their identity, and strive for a better future, just as Martí envisioned for his beloved Cuba.

Where there any stand-out scenes?

There are several standout scenes and passages from La Edad de Oro that have deeply impacted my life. One of the most memorable passages is from the preface, where José Martí writes about the importance of children and the role they play in shaping the future:

“Los niños, los niños, los niños son. Los niños, los niños, los niños serán. Y entre ellos, en primer término, los pobres, a quienes no es lícito negar cuanto es posible darles: no para compensarles de la herencia de las lágrimas, sino para redimirlos de ella.”

Translated, this passage emphasizes the importance of children, especially those who are less fortunate, and the need to provide them with everything possible, not to compensate them for the inheritance of tears, but to redeem them from it. This passage has resonated with me deeply, reminding me of the responsibility we have to nurture and educate the next generation.

Another impactful scene is the story of “Los Zapaticos de Rosa” (The Little Pink Shoes). This story tells the tale of a poor Cuban girl named Rosa who, despite her humble circumstances, remains kind-hearted and generous. When a wealthy woman passes by and admires Rosa’s beautiful pink shoes, Rosa selflessly gives them to her, even though they are her only pair.

This story is a powerful reminder of the importance of kindness, generosity, and empathy. It teaches us that true wealth is not measured by material possessions but by the goodness of our hearts. “Los Zapaticos de Rosa” has left a lasting impact on me, inspiring me to always be compassionate and considerate towards others, regardless of their background or circumstances.

What do you hope other readers get from reading your book recommendation?

I hope that other readers, like myself, will be inspired by the timeless wisdom and profound insights found in La Edad de Oro. I hope that they will see the importance of education, empathy, and kindness in shaping a better future for all. I hope that this book will encourage readers to cherish their heritage, celebrate their identity, and strive for a better world, just as José Martí envisioned for his cherished Cuba. Ultimately, I hope that La Edad de Oro will ignite a spark of curiosity and compassion in the hearts of its readers, inspiring them to dream boldly and act with courage and conviction.

Did someone read to you when you were a child?

Yes, my brother..

What was the last book you read?

The last book I read was Cien Años de Soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude). Find it at your local library branch here.

How relevant or relatable are the themes or messages of the book to your own life or to society today?

The themes and messages of La Edad de Oro are highly relevant and relatable to my own life and to society today. The book’s focus on the importance of education, empathy, and kindness resonates deeply with me. In today’s fast-paced and often divisive world, the message of nurturing the next generation, especially those who are less fortunate, is more important than ever.

Additionally, the book’s emphasis on the power of literature and storytelling to inspire change and shape a better future is something that I strongly believe in. In a world where information is constantly bombarding us, the ability to step back, reflect, and appreciate the beauty of language and storytelling is invaluable.

Do you prefer paperbacks or e-books?

I don’t have a preference myself, but many people enjoy the convenience of e-books, while others prefer the feel and experience of reading a physical paperback.

What are your favorite genres to read?

Poetry

Why do you think reading is important?

Reading is crucial because it enhances our learning, understanding of the world, and communication skills. It’s also an enjoyable way to unwind and escape reality. Reading enriches our vocabulary, critical thinking, and empathy, adding depth to our lives. Personally, I’m drawn to poetry because it provides a distinctive and compelling means of expressing emotions, ideas, and experiences.

If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be?

Embracing the Rainbow: A journey from Habana to Hope

Olga Chavez is the Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations Lead for Marathon Petroleum Corporation in Southern California, including the Los Angeles Refinery. For the past 12 years, Olga has been responsible for overseeing the management of a multi-million-dollar philanthropy budget to support local non-profits and the communities they serve. Olga works with the Marathon Leadership Team to develop and implement priorities and strategies for achieving balanced public policy and a consistent approach to ensure impactful community investment and outreach, and employee volunteerism.

Olga Chavez was born and raised in Cuba. She and her family immigrated to the United States 40 years ago. She comes from humble backgrounds, her father was a chef, and her mother a caregiver. Her beloved brother passed away not long after their arrival in the United States.

Olga has been very involved in the nonprofit world. Working within the energy industry has enabled her to establish several nonprofit organizations in the community. Some of the foundations formed by Olga are the Wilmington Coordinating Council, under the leadership of the late Shirley Atencio, Gulf Avenue Elementary PTO, and the Friends of the Rotary Club of Wilmington. Olga firmly believes in giving back to the community, and Marathon supports her efforts. She is engaged in several nonprofit boards, such as the Wilmington and Gardena-Carson YMCAs, the Rotary Club of Wilmington, and the San Pedro and Wilmington Chambers. Additionally, she is a member of the President’s Advisory Board – Special Advisors to the Battleship IOWA Museum.

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Cathy De Leon, City of Long Beach Director of Library Services

Top leaders of the world have the exceptional simple habit of reading. Whether for enjoyment or enrichment, reading stimulates the mind and fuels creativity. Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads.

In honor of National Library Month, we are featuring the City of Long Beach Director of Library Services, Cathy De Leon!

Continue reading to learn more about Ms. De Leon’s book recommendation and the leader behind it.

Hello, Universe

by 

Erin Entrada Kelly

What made you choose Hello, Universe as your recommendation?

Erin Entrada Kelly is the first author of Filipino descent to be awarded the most prestigious award in children’s literature, the Newbery Medal, and she won it for this book. Hello, Universe tells the story of a shy Filipino boy named Virgil Salinas and three fellow middle schoolers whose worlds collide in unexpected ways. Published in 2017, this book resonated with me because it was one of the first times I ever saw myself–my culture, my family–in a book, as the stories and experiences of Filipino Americans are not often reflected in American literature. As a longtime children’s librarian, this book made me cry because of its candid and heartwarming depictions of Filipino American intergenerational family life. To me, this book embodies the power of telling diverse stories and how affirming and inclusive literature can and should be.

Where there any stand-out scenes?

There’s a scene where Virgil observes his grandmother, or lola, slicing mangos. The way that Entrada Kelly described this simple act really hit me because it’s something my lola did for me when I was a child and brought up a lot of powerful personal memories.

What do you hope other readers get from reading your book recommendation?

I never realized until I read Hello, Universe how starved I was to see these cultural aspects of my own experience on a page. Representation matters and I hope readers someday get to see themselves reflected in literature if they haven’t already.

Do you prefer paperbacks or e-books?

Paperbacks!

What was the last book you read?

Crying in H Mart. Find it at your local library branch here.

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Billie Jean King, Long Beach Hometown Hero and Equality Champion

Top leaders of the world have the exceptional simple habit of reading. Whether for enjoyment or enrichment, reading stimulates the mind and fuels creativity. Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads.

In honor of Women’s History Month, we are featuring a Long Beach hometown hero, legendary sports icon, philanthropist, New York Times bestselling author, and equality champion Billie Jean King.

Continue reading to learn more about Ms. King’s book recommendation and the leader behind it.

Tennis legend and women's equality activist, Billie Jean King, holding Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye"

The Bluest Eye

by 

Toni Morrison

What made you choose The Bluest Eye as your recommendation?

Some of the best learnings come from books that are tough to read. This is one of those books. In this book, her first novel, Morrison, takes a stark look at racism and a quest for equality and authenticity through the eyes of a young African-American girl in the depression era. We have to remember when it was written and how much things have changed, and how much things can still improve.

What are your favorite genres to read?

I love history. My parents got my brother and me library cards when we were in elementary school so we learned how to use them early. Randy and I loved to read. I really loved bios on people. Just like I love documentaries on streaming and television now. I still like true stories about people – people’s stories inspire me.

What do you hope other readers get from reading your book recommendation?

I had wanted to read this book for years and it took me a while to get to it and it was worth it. It is a heartfelt look at a difficult story. Never give up on a good book. As they say, it’s better late than never.

How old were you when you got your first library card?

I was in Elementary school at Los Cerritos Elementary in Long Beach when I got my first Long Beach Public Library card. 

As a kid I asked if I could use my parents library card and the first library I remember going to was at Los Cerritos elementary school. We also went to Harte Library on W. Willow.  

Reading for free was a privilege which our parents were very clear on. Also having a choice of what we were able to read was also a privilege.

Why do you think reading is important?

Information gives you knowledge and knowledge gives you power.

Finally, if you wrote a memoir, what would the title be?

All In

cover photo of the book all in, written by billie jean kingAll In is an autobiography/memoir and New York Times Bestseller written by Billie Jean King. 

“An inspiring and intimate self-portrait of the champion of equality that encompasses her brilliant tennis career, unwavering activism, and an ongoing commitment to fairness and social justice.” Visit www.PenguinRandomHouse.com for the full overview.

 

Billie Jean King won 39 Grand Slam titles and 3 World TeamTennis championships, founded the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Women’s Tennis Association and was the first female athlete to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She founded the Billie Jean King Foundation and is part of the ownership groups of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Angel City FC and on the Advisory Board of the Professional Women’s Hockey League. A New York Times bestselling author, her memoir, All In, was released in 2021 and released in paperback in 2023.

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Sharon L. Weissman, Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors and Community Leader

Top leaders of the world have the exceptional simple habit of reading. Whether for enjoyment or enrichment, reading stimulates the mind and fuels creativity. Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads.

In honor of Library Lovers Month, we could think of no one better suited than our very own Sharon L. Weissman, a Member of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors, Member of the Harbor Board of Commissioners, and Member of the California Library Services Board of Directors. 

Continue reading to learn more about Sharon’s book recommendation and the leader behind it.

The Diary of a Young Girl

by 

Anne Frank

What made you choose The Diary of a Young Girl as your recommendation?

I choose The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank as my book because I believe it is a book that speaks to the troubles of our time. The Holocaust and the death of millions of Jews, Soviet POWs, Poles, Roma and Sinti, the disabled and LGBTQ persons at the hands of the Nazis demonstrates in the most horrible of examples the danger and horror of prejudice and bias. But Anne’s diary also speaks of the courage and kindness of those willing to hide and help those who were targeted by the Nazis. Courage and kindness are what we need very much today. Her most famous quote is the first of these three sentences that follow, but the hope she demonstrates in the first sentence and following two are remarkable considering her circumstance when she wrote them, “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can’t build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquility will return again.”

Were there any stand-out scenes or particular passages from your recommended book that have impacted your life?

Anne’s quote, In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” This is a sentiment I think of when I despair about the world or a personal circumstance. If she could have this optimism in her situation, surely I can in a much less dire situation.

What do you hope other readers get from reading your book recommendation?

I hope they would understand that prejudice never has a good outcome. Kindness and the courage to say that something is wrong or untrue will make this a better country and a better world.

 How old were you when you got your first library card?

I don’t remember not having one.

Did someone read to you when you were a child?

Yes, my mother was a reader and read to my sister and me until we learned to read. This habit has served me well in school and my work life.

Do you prefer paperbacks or e-books?

Although I prefer physical books to e-books, sometimes I am eager to begin a particular book and if the e-book is available from the library, I download it so I can begin reading it right away.

What are your favorite genres to read?

Mystery, historical fiction, literary fiction and humor.

Where is your favorite place to read?

My sofa. 

Is there an author you’d like to meet? Can you share their name or work?

Anne Tyler, I loved her novels Breathing Lessons, Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, and The Accidental Tourist, among others.

What’s the last book you read?

Cannery Row (which you can find at your local neighborhood library branch by clicking here)

What book will you read next?

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

Why do you think reading is important?

I grew up in a family of modest means. Reading made a world that could have been so small, so large. Reading allows us to experience things and places we may never see. Books take us on a journey to so many worlds and we meet so many people.

Finally, if you wrote a memoir, what would the title be?

It’s All About the Story

Sharon L. Weissman, former Senior Advisor to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, is a member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.  She also served as Mayor Garcia’s liaison to the arts community, the Long Beach Public Library and its support groups, including the Long Beach Public Library Foundation, and Sister Cities organizations. 

Ms. Weissman has a background in public policy, having served as Chief of Staff to Dr. Garcia when he was Vice Mayor of Long Beach and Chief of Staff to former California State Senator and Assemblymember Jenny Oropeza. 

Prior to her work with elected officials, Ms. Weissman was the Director of the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center at California State University, Long Beach; the Station Manager of CSULB’s jazz radio station, KLON-FM (now KKJZ), and an instructor at the university in the fields of radio, TV and film.

Serving California, Ms. Weissman was appointed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to serve on the California Library Services Board from May 2023 through December 2025. Serving her community, Ms. Weissman is a member of the Executive Committee and former President and Vice President of Public Affairs of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation; a member of the Advisory Board of CSULB’s Long Beach Center for Urban Politics and Policy and the Advisory Board of the Museum of Latin American Art; a former Board Member of the Arts Council for Long Beach, the Long Beach Symphony and Sister Cities of Long Beach; and a former Chair of the Long Beach Fair Housing Foundation.

Part of our Long Beach Leaders are Readers program includes inviting the featured leader to sign the inside of their book recommendation so that future patrons who check the book out will be able to learn about the significance of the book to our local leaders. Keep an eye out for the signed recommendations at your local branch!


Find “Diary of a Young Girl” at your local neighborhood library branch!

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Everett Glenn, Long Beach Nonprofit Founder and Community Leader

Top leaders of the world have the exceptional simple habit of reading. Whether for enjoyment or enrichment, reading stimulates the mind and fuels creativity. Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads.

We invited Mr. Everett Glenn to start off our year and be our January 2024 Long Beach Leaders are Readers feature because his distinctive perspective on leadership and his commitment to positive change align perfectly with the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and the profound inspiration the day embodies.

Continue reading to learn more about his month’s book recommendation and the leader behind it.

Success Runs in Our Race

by 

George C. Fraser

What made you choose Success Runs in Our Race to recommend to the community?

In my opinion, Success Runs in Our Race is a book folk can use to increase their ability to network, get together to get ahead, grow spiritually, and develop the resources leading to greater wealth and relationship success. The book allows us to realize our connectedness to one another and to share, give, and maximize all of our community and business resources.

Were there any stand-out scenes or particular passages from your recommended book that have impacted your life?

“It takes teamwork to make the dream work”

What do you hope other readers get from reading your book recommendation?

More than a guide for personal achievement, Success Runs in our Race is an information-packed bible of networking that also seeks to inspire a social movement and a rebirth of the “Underground Railroad,” in which successful African Americans share the lessons of self-determination and empowerment with those still struggling to scale the ladder of success.

 How old were you when you got your first library card?

9

How did your recommended book make you think or feel about a certain topic or issue?

Made me think about what can happen when Black entrepreneurs, professionals and civic leaders come together to effect positive change in our community.

 
What did you learn from the book or what did it teach you about yourself or others?

That Black people are often our own worst enemy, relying on others who have more evidence of their disdain for us than concern, to help us solve our problems.

Did someone read to you when you were a child?

My mom

Has a book ever changed your life?

Not the book itself, but the decision to take action based on what I read…Success Runs in our Race

Do you prefer paperbacks or e-books?

Paperbacks

What are your favorite genres to read?

Technical/professional development

Where is your favorite place to read?

On my patio

Is there an author you’d like to meet? Can you share their name or work?

The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama

What’s the last book you read?

Smart Brevity: The Power of Saying More With Less (Which, by the way is available at Mark Twain Neighborhood Library)

Why do you think reading is important?

I think reading is important because strong reading skills are fundamental for academic success. Being literate opens doors to educational opportunities, higher learning, and better career prospects, empowering readers to reach their full potential.

Reading also provides an avenue for the reader to see themselves reflected in stories, characters, and experiences, empowering them to pursue their dreams, overcome challenges, and make a difference. Finally, reading also encourages critical thinking and empathy. It allows the reader to understand different perspectives, navigate complexities, and develop empathy for others’ experiences, fostering a more inclusive and understanding society.

Finally, if you wrote a memoir, what would the title be?

The Good Glenn: The Rise, the Fall, the Resurrection

Everett Glenn is the Founder, CEO and Executive Director of Long Beach based nonprofit, BOSS. BOSS™ (Business Of Student Success) instills a mindset within their boys that advances both individual excellence and team mastery. The BOSS values are embedded in all that they do, fostering their boys’ intellectual, physical, and emotional well-being. 

Learn more about BOSS on their website: www.bossprograms.org

Part of our Long Beach Leaders are Readers program includes inviting the featured leader to sign the inside of their book recommendation so that future patrons who check the book out will be able to learn about the significance of the book to our local leaders. Keep an eye out for the signed recommendations at your local branch!


Find “Success Runs in Our Race” in the African American Heritage Collection at the Burnett Neighborhood Library!

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Sean Reilly, LBPLF President-elect

Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads. We’re ending our year with a very special feature: Sean Reilly, the incoming Library Foundation Board of Directors President. Currently serving as President-elect, Mr. Reilly will officially assume his two-year term in January, demonstrating his commitment to fostering literacy and community engagement in Long Beach.

Mr. Reilly has shared the following reading recommendation. Enjoy!

The Atlantis Gene

by 

A.G. Riddle

I selected book 1 in the trilogy (The Atlantis Trilogy) Titled The Atlantis Gene- by A.G. Riddle. This book speaks to my inner science fiction geek as it touches on the human science of genetic code, humanity’s future, and an amazing structure found on a floating giant Antarctic iceberg. As a reader/visualizer with a learning approach that is “spacial objective,” reading has always been a challenge for me in maintaining my interest, and A.G. Riddle is on point regarding my ability to stay engaged.

Like my other science fiction loves of Star Trek, Star Wars, and Stargate Atlantis, this writer and trilogy touches on hope for humanity, our innate sense of curiosity, and the constant need to explore the world around us and even space. This is very much a passion of mine, and this book takes me to those places, explores the unknown, and provides hope for humanity even through the many trials throughout the trilogy.

I hope I can inspire others who have the same challenges with reading. Enjoy this author’s way of weaving his storylines that feeds a spacial objective person’s desire to read and take the journey(s) others take while read and take the journey(s) others take while reading!

-Sean Reilly, Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors President-elect

Part of our Long Beach Leaders are Readers program includes inviting the featured leader to sign the inside of their book recommendation so that future patrons who check the book out will be able to learn about the significance of the book to our local leaders. Keep an eye out for the signed recommendations at your local branch!


Find “The Atlantis Gene” at your local neighborhood branch!

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Diane Jacobus, Long Beach Community Leader

Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads. In honor of Veterans Day in November, we are highlighting Diane Jacobus!

Ms. Jacobus has shared the following reading recommendation. Enjoy!

Every Star Tells a Story:

Families of Fallen American Heroes Share Personal Stories of Courage and Hope

by 

American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

 I have belonged to a Navy Family all my life. I joined the Gold Star Family much later. How this happened is told in my treasured book Every Star Tells a Story, published by American Gold Star Mothers, that recounts the sacrifices of fallen American heroes. My father, Lieutenant Commander Ernest M. Wade, MD, was one of these heroes and I was honored to tell his story.

In 1942, my father became a prisoner of the Japanese at Bilibid Prison Camp in Manilla, Philippines. He remained there until late 1944 when he was placed on a ship for transport to Japan. The ship was attacked in transit by Allied forces and my POW father was killed.

Since retiring as Senior Advisor to Mayor Beverly O’Neill and as the Protocol Officer for the Port of Long Beach, I have served on the board of Gold Star Manor in Long Beach. I continue to honor all of those who have served and protected the country they love.

– Diane Wade Jacobus

 

Part of our Long Beach Leaders are Readers program includes inviting the featured leader to sign the inside of their book recommendation so that future patrons who check the book out will be able to learn about the significance of the book to our local leaders. Keep an eye out for the signed recommendations at your local branch!


Find “Every Star Tells a Story” at your local neighborhood branch soon!

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Carmen O. Perez, Long Beach Community Leader

Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads. In honor of Latino Heritage Month, we are highlighting Carmen O. Perez, a long time community leader in the City of Long Beach!

Ms. Perez has shared the following reading recommendation. Enjoy!

How Green was My Valley

by 

Richard Llewellyn

I love this book! A comforting book I find myself reading from time to time. A gift from my sister around the late 50’s…

This book is about a strong Family, Love, Faith, Work & Unions, Death, and Life.  Meeting lives Challenges and embracing the outcomes, no matter what!

My sister knew I liked “traveling ” when reading books, to know different places, and always dream of visiting these parts of the world. This setting is in Wales. The closest I came to this place was Italy , yet remembering this book while I marveled at the beautiful green landscape.

 

– Carmen O. Perez

Carmen O. Perez has served Long Beach for over 30 years and is best known as the Port of Long Beach’s first Latina Harbor Commissioner, significantly helping to increase trade at the Port during her 12 years on the commission.

During her time as Harbor Commissioner, trade at the port tripled and she helped open the port to the public through free harbor cruises so citizens could get a close-up look at port operations. She was also appointed by Governor Gray Davis to the California World Trade Commission. 

In honor of her service, Mayor Robert Garcia awarded Carmen the Key to the City in 2018. She is a proud grandmother and great grandmother. 

Part of our Long Beach Leaders are Readers program includes inviting the featured leader to sign the inside of their book recommendation so that future patrons who check the book out will be able to learn about the significance of the book to our local leaders. Keep an eye out for the signed recommendations at your local branch!


Find “How Green was My Valley” at your local neighborhood branch here!

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Ellie Perez, LGBTQ Community Leader and Activist

Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads. This month, we have a very special featured leader: LGBTQ Center of Long Beach Interim Executive Director and community leader and activist, Ellie Perez. Ms. Perez has shared the following reading recommendation. Enjoy!

Pride and Joy

by Frank J. Sileo

 

My recommended book is “Pride and Joy” by author Frank J. Sileo, Ph.D., a New Jersey licensed psychologist, and a multi-award-winning author of 14 other children’s picture books and a parenting book. Dr. Frank J. Sileo is also a member of the YOU ARE WELCOME HERE Safe Spaces Alliance.

Pride and Joy is a book about being an LGBTQ+ ally and the little things we can do to make our LGBTQ+ family and community feel loved, respected, and supported. 

Visit Gay Long Beach and the Safe Spaces Alliance is excited to donate 4 copies of this book to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. 

For more information on Dr. Frank J. Sileo’s work please visit his website. Follow him on Instagram here.

– Ellie Perez 

Ellie Perez is Executive Director of Visit Gay Long Beach, Co-founder of the Safe Spaces Alliance and Interim Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center Long Beach

Learn more about Visit Gay Long Beach and the Safe Spaces Alliance here

Learn more about the LGBTQ Center Long Beach here.

 

Part of our Long Beach Leaders are Readers program includes inviting the featured leader to sign the inside of their book recommendation so that future patrons who check the book out will be able to learn about the significance of the book to our local leaders. Keep an eye out for the signed recommendations at your local branch!


 

Find “Pride and Joy” at your local neighborhood branch soon!

Long Beach Leaders are Readers: Long Beach’s First Ever Youth Poet Laureate, Claire Beeli

Long Beach Leaders are Readers features leaders in our community as they share their recommended reads. This month, we have a very special featured leader: Long Beach’s very first Youth Poet Laureate, Claire Beeli. Ms. Beeli has shared the following reading recommendation. Enjoy!

The Dispossessed

by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Dispossessed taught me much of what I know about writing, by virtue of the quality of Le Guin’s work. More than that, though, this book unifies love, science, family, and revolutionary political commentary in a way that is both personal and Earth-spanning. It is a master class in storytelling—I wish I could give every young writer a copy!

-Claire Beeli

Long Beach 2023 Youth Poet Laureate

Claire Beeli is a local high school student, published poet, community volunteer, and an advocate for literacy, the library and the arts! You can view her winning submission for the Youth Poet Laureate competition here.

Learn more about the Youth Poet Laureate program on the Long Beach Public Library website.


Part of our Long Beach Leaders are Readers program includes inviting the featured leader to sign the inside of their book recommendation so that future patrons who check the book out will be able to learn about the significance of the book to our local leaders. Keep an eye out for the signed recommendations at your local branch!


Find “The Dispossessed” at your local neighborhood branch here.