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CLA Elections 2017 - Stephanie Beverage
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Stephanie Beverage, Huntington Beach Public Library


Stephanie Beverage is the current Director of the Huntington Beach Public Library, working for the City since 2009.  Stephanie is a native Californian (with Midwestern roots) born in the north but living in the south.  She is a graduate of UCLA, both for her BA and MLIS, and has a second Masters in European History from Georgetown University. 

Stephanie has spent the majority of her professional career working in public libraries in Southern California.  Starting at the Ontario City Library, she has worked for the Los Angeles Public Library System, OC Public Libraries, Alhambra Public Library and South Pasadena Public Library.  Stephanie is active in ALA, serving on a variety of committees in PLA and LLAMA, and she is a long time member of CLA.

Stephanie currently lives in Placentia, CA with her husband and their 2 large Ragdoll cats.  In her spare time, she enjoys food, wine, most sports (Baseball, Football, Hockey, etc) and has been known to travel for college football games.  


Candidate Statement

I am honored to be considered for the position of Vice President-President Elect of the California Library Association.  I believe that I have an obligation and responsibility to give back to the profession, and to help ensure that our profession continues to grow and make a difference.  I have been an active member of CLA throughout my professional career, and I have seen how the Association can make a difference supporting the remarkable work being done across the State.  I have worked in a variety of settings, and have been active in ALA, serving on PLA and LLAMA committees, engaging and interacting with librarians from all across the country.  As President, I would work hard to support our young professionals, helping to ensure that the Association provides the resources and continuing education needed to develop the next generation of library leaders, while sustaining those of us that are more established in the field.

A Library is the physical manifestation of the Life of the Mind in a community.  In the Library you can learn, grow, test, try, explore and create.  No other institution is more democratic and open, and during times of stress and crises, Libraries are a haven for all.  As CLA President, I would be at your service, working to ensure that the Association gives all our members a voice and keeps our libraries moving forward and making a difference for California.  Thank you.



  1. How do you define leadership?
    I strongly believe in the Servant Leadership model – How can I enable others to succeed and accomplish great things?  Librarianship closely aligns with this, and as a public servant, I am here to enable others to grow, succeed and thrive.
  2. Why are you interested in this position?
    Helping our professional association grow and serve as an effective voice on behalf of all the terrific librarians in California would be an honor.

  3. How would you describe your personal leadership/communication style?
    I believe in open communication and the open exchange of ideas.  I want and need to hear from others, as we all bring something unique to the table, and we need to be as inclusive and open as we can.

  4. What strengths would you bring to the position?
    I am good at seeing the Big Picture, and tracking trends.  I like to experiment and try new things, and to encourage others to stretch and try new ideas.  I like to ask Why? and really look at why things are done the way they are, and to look for ways to improve.

  5. What experience do you bring to this position?
    I have over 20 years of experience in the Library profession, and I have had the opportunity to work for small, medium and large libraries.  I think I bring a good balance of experience and innovation to whatever I do professionally. 

  6. What issues or trends are particularly informing your work at this time? 
    Community engagement is high up on the list right now – are we providing the right mix of opportunities for our community?  Are we helping them reach their goals and fulfill their aspirations for themselves and their families?  Funding always seems to be something that has to be addressed, and with the imminent threat to the IMLS, it is even more important now.  The work that EveryLibrary is doing to help libraries be more effective politically is encouraging, and we need to build our political skills and capacity to raise awareness and fight for the funding that we all need.

  7. Who are the thought leaders (in libraries or in other fields) who interest you?
    This could take a while - In the field, I admire and respect Susan Hildreth, our former State Librarian and former Head of IMLS.  Carla Hayden, our new Librarian of Congress, is one of my library heroes, and I am a fan of both PC Sweeney and John Chrastka and the work they do for us through EveryLibrary.  There are many others here in CA too – Patty Wong at Santa Monica, John Szabo at LAPL, Luis Herrera at SFPL, Sarah Houghton in San Rafael and Jill Bourne at San Jose to name a few -They are all people I look up to in our field, and their work blazes a trail for the rest of us.  Outside the library field, I find the writing of George Lakoff to be thought provoking about politics. Lawrence Lessig is another important voice.  I would work for Senator Elizabeth Warren or Senator Kamala Harris for free.  

  8. Who are the regional and statewide stakeholders libraries need to be in communication with? 
    We need to strengthen our participation in the CENIC community, to develop more connections with the education sector, as we are all part of the educational enterprise in California.  Regional governmental associations and cooperatives could be effective partners, helping to raise awareness and garner allies.  Libraries are essential anchor institutions in our communities, and we need to reach out to our local government allies, and strengthen these connections so that we can continue to make a difference in the lives of Californians.

  9. What do you feel are the most critical challenges and opportunities facing California libraries right now?
    Right now, with the disruption and speed of change in our world, one of our critical challenges is going to be political.  We have to work to make sure that Californians recognize the value and importance of their libraries, and how support for libraries garners significant benefits for all of us.  As an Association, CLA needs to be there for our members, to help them grapple with these issues and to help support them in the essential work they do. 

    In terms of opportunities, libraries are going to be important as places of connection and community.  We can help bring people together over so many issues, and maybe move all of us forward more effectively, tackling some of our bigger problems and issues. 


  10. Why are you the best candidate for this position?
    I bring a good mix of experience and creativity to the position.  I am familiar with both Northern and Southern CA, and I have a strong commitment to the profession and our role in society. 

  11. What makes CLA’s mission meaningful to you?
    The mission is all about helping our profession develop, improve and grow. Libraries and librarians have played an important role in my life, and I owe a great deal to the profession.  Anything I can do to strengthen our field and help our librarians in the vital work they do is the LEAST that I can do.