After a brief term as interim director of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation (LBPF), the board of directors has appointed social innovation guru Katharine Azar as its newest executive director, replacing former director Sara Myers, who departed last October.


The appointment comes in addition to Erica Bradley’s selection as director of development, the LBPLF announced this week.

Azar recruited Bradley as her first step in building her team, according to the LBPLF. Both women are now part of an organization that is celebrating 20 years of financial support for the Long Beach Public Library education and literacy programs.

“Kate is a talented and highly experienced specialist in the nonprofit sector and is passionate in her support of the Foundation and its mission,” said Lance Adams, president of the LBPLF, in a statement. “We appreciate her enthusiasm, professionalism, and insight and anticipate that Kate’s leadership will enable the Foundation to make significant improvements in our fund development efforts on behalf of Long Beach libraries.”

Azar comes to the LBPLF Executive Director’s desk with more than 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She’s worked in social cause campaign strategy, program and fundraising management, along with co-founding The Olive Tree Initiative, an award-winning, educational non profit organization that began in UC Irvine—Azar’s alma mater. She also holds a master’s degree from USC, according to a release.


“I am honored to have the opportunity to continue my work with the Long Beach Public Library Foundation,” said Azar in a statement. “For the past five months, I have seen how truly dedicated the staff and board are to promoting literacy and education for all members of the Long Beach community. I have long felt affection for the city of Long Beach and I am excited to continue to build on this Foundation’s work serving the community in our 20th anniversary year and beyond.”

The new director of Development, Bradley, brings 13 years of experience as a development professional, most notably, eight years on behalf of Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. She is a graduate of UC San Diego and, as a Long Beach resident, is eager to improve the resources available to the city’s diverse families.

Since 1999, the LBPLF established and sustained support for Family Learning Centers in all the Library’s branches. It’s also providing funding to establish The Studio at the Main Library—an innovative, state-of-the-art creative space that enables users to design and produce objects.

The LBPLF, during the past 20 years, has raised more than $20 million for Long Beach Public Library initiatives as well as maintaining more than $6.4 worth of endowments, according to the release.