Sara Myers with a group of students at the Mark Twain neighborhood Library during the Dictionary Day project in 2012. Photo courtesy of Sara Myers.
The Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s Executive Director Sara Myers has announced she is stepping down from her position at the organization in mid-November to become the new president and CEO of the Volunteer Center South Bay-Harbor-Long Beach, which links volunteers to the community to meet specific needs.
Myers began her tenure at the foundation in 2007 after working for the Volunteer Center as an office manager and program coordinator.
“Of course, it’s extremely sad to leave,” said Myers. “I will have been here for almost nine years. The organization has really grown.”
“Sarah was an absolutely passionate worker,” said the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Vice President of Public Affairs Margaret Smith. “Her energy, passion and devotion to the library—doing whatever it takes to get the job done,” will leave a lasting legacy, according to Smith.
The Long Beach Public Library Foundation raises funds to supplement youth programs, purchase books and materials and oversees 12 neighborhood learning centers, according to their website. Some of their funding comes from JetBlue’s violation of the airport’s noise ordinance. For each violation beyond the sixth violation each quarter, the airline is required to donate $6,000 to the foundation.
During Myers’ time at the foundation, the organization joined the national Campaign for Grade Level Reading, an initiative that counts 140 cities participating and seeks to raise the reading level proficiency of students to their grade level.
Partnering the foundation with Safe Long Beach and the library’s summer reading program were other priorities Myers focused on.
“I’m really proud of the partnership we’ve created with the library,” said Myers. “The work that they’re doing is really important.”
Myers said she is leaving at a time in which people are aware of the library and the impact it has on communities, moving beyond offering free reading materials and more on its position as a community center that promotes learning.
She said it’s an exciting time for the library, given the fact that a new library will open next year and the new Civic Center will include another new library when it opens in 2019.
“There will be wonderful opportunities for the person who comes next,” said Myers.