May 28, 2022

President of Library Foundation of Los Angeles Speaks to Philanthropists on the Importance of Public Libraries

From the University of Southern California:

While many are quick to point to technology and a shifting digital age as the end of books and libraries, more than ever, public libraries are becoming a vital hub of civic engagement for communities as societies grapple with a number of social challenges and public policy solutions.

Ken Brecher at the “Conversations on Philanthropy” Presentation. Source: USC Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy

That was the essence of remarks by Ken Brecher, president of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, during a convening of USC’s Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy’s “Conversations on Philanthropy” series at the California Club.

In welcoming a group of more than 40 individual philanthropists, foundation executives and trustees, and corporate philanthropists to the gathering, James Ferris, director of the center, noted that “philanthropy has been crucial to developing America’s public libraries,” referencing the contributions of Andrew Carnegie and Bill Gates. Ferris introduced Brecher, one of the center’s board members, and Judy Belk, senior vice president of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, who moderated the event.


He also emphasized the importance of partnerships, pointing to a promising partnership that the Library Foundation has undertaken, giving small amounts of money for the development of “innovation teams” that provide on-site training to new library-school graduates.

“We need to give [the graduates] fellowships to work in a public library system and be paid by private philanthropy,” he said, “but [also] be matched up with a mid-career librarian who may not have all the technology skills they have, but really knows how to serve the public.”

Read the Complete Report

See Also: This Year’s Highlights of Membership (via Library Foundation of Los Angeles)

See Also: Ken Brecher Was Named Director of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles in 2010
This news release includes a brief bio as he began his job at LFLA.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.