The City Librarian
John F. Szabo
John F. Szabo is the City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, which serves over four million people—the largest population of any public library in the United States. Heoversees the Central Library, 72 branches and the library’s $143 million budget (FY 14/15). In 2013, 14 million people visited the library and borrowed 15 million items.
Under his leadership, the Library’s major initiatives include those related to immigrant integration and citizenship, improving financial literacy and providing health resourcesand programs. He has expanded the library’s reach into the city’s diverse communities through partnerships with several community-based organizations.
He has more than 20 years of leadership experience in public libraries. Throughout his career, Szabo has championed innovative library services that address critical communityneeds in areas including health disparities, workforce development, adult literacy, school readiness and emergent literacy for preschoolers.Szabo’s previous experience includes serving as the director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System (2005-2012), Clearwater (FL) Public Library System (1998-2005), PalmHarbor (FL) Public Library (1995-1998), Robinson (IL) Public Library District (1992-1995).
Szabo received his master’s degree in information and library studies at University of Michigan and his bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from University of Alabama. He completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also participated in a Group Study Exchange with Rotary International, visiting libraries and archives in Sicily and the Aeolian Islands.
He is a former member of the Executive Board of the Urban Libraries Council, a past president of the Florida Library Association, and past president of the Tampa Bay Library Consortium Board of Directors. Szabo has also served as an OCLC Global Council Delegate and as a Councilor-at-Large of the American Library Association. In November 2014, he will join the Board of Trustees of OCLC.