Long Beach Public Library Foundation

A Library and a Family

For many, a library is a home away from home where they can find a quiet and friendly place to study, research and read. For Lorrie Hutton, this goes one step further. When talking about how she joined the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors, she talks about how much it was like joining a family.

“I had never seen that type of camaraderie before. That’s not to say we didn’t have our problems but it was truly like family.”

Family is very important to Lorrie. She grew up Oklahoma and Texas and her mother placed great importance on libraries, researching and looking up words in dictionaries. Lorrie remembers when the bookmobile would come around her neighborhood in Oklahoma and how fun it was to pick out her next read.

A job with American Honda Motor Company prompted a move from Texas to California about 30 years ago. Her first home was near the ocean in Redondo Beach which convinced her to stay and live close to the beach.

After moving to Long Beach, she became friends with one of the founders of the Library Foundation, Margaret Durnin.  Lorrie was originally asked to join the Board of Directors in 1996 when the Library Foundation was first formed, but turned down the offer due to her busy work schedule.

In 2005, Margaret asked her again to join the Library Foundation Board. This time Lorrie was looking for a way to branch out and meet other people in the community and she agreed.

Some of Lorrie’s favorite memories from serving on the Library Foundation Board are of the Booked event series. One of her favorite guests was Jeffrey Weaver, Curator of Sculpture & Decorative Arts at the Getty, who spoke about the book, Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia by Louise Allison Cort and Paul Jett. Jeffrey was co-curator of the exhibition that was organized by the Getty, the Smithsonian and the National Museum of Cambodia.

In her 13 years on the Board, Lorrie was elected to the roles of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Vice President of Finance. She has helped guide the Library Foundation through exciting times like the fundraising campaigns for the Mark Twain Neighborhood Library and Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library, as well as challenging times like the campaign to keep Main Library open when the city considered shutting it down.

She looks forward to the opening of the new Main Library and treasures the memories that brought the Library Foundation to the success it is today.

From left to right: Susan Redfield, Lorrie Hutton, and Margaret Durnin at the opening of the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library in September 2016.

A Love of Literacy from Coast to Coast

When Susan Redfield was in high school she would use money she saved from baby-sitting to take the train to New York City. She would usually go to the theatre when she arrived, but would also visit the New York Public Library. It was there that she began discovering the treasures that could be found at public libraries and developed a love of literacy.

As a teen, Susan was a fan of Albert Hirschfeld, a cartoonist whose work was featured in Playbill, The New Yorker Magazine, New York Magazine, and other popular publications. While looking for Hirschfeld’s works in these publications at the New York Public Library, Susan discovered short stories by John Updike and J.D. Salinger. The Librarian invited her to the archives section of Library to find more stories and books she would like. Susan remembers feeling like she was meeting The Beatles as the Librarian guided her around.

In 1997, when she moved to Long Beach after working as a social worker and attorney in Chicago, Susan was looking to get involved in her new community. In Chicago, Susan had been involved in raising funds for children’s playgrounds, the zoo and her church, and was hoping to apply her experience in philanthropy to causes that were important to her in Long Beach.

One of the first friends she made when she arrived was Diane Jacobus who is one of the founders of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and at that time was a Senior Advisor to Mayor Beverly O’Neill. The two of them started a book club together and Diane would tell Susan about the great work that the Library Foundation accomplished.

In 1999, Diane introduced Susan to Gene Richey, the Executive Director of the Library Foundation, who invited her to join the Endowment Committee, Chaired by Margaret Durnin. And in 2001, she began serving on the Long Beach Reads One Book committee where she met her friend Mary Barton. Long Beach Reads One Book brought different authors to the city every year for a series of events to inspire reading among residents of all ages. Meeting Ray Bradbury when he was the featured author in 2005 is one Susan’s favorite memories of this program.

In 2004, Gene Richey invited Susan to join the Board of Directors for the Library Foundation. She still has the letter of invitation and is amazed it has been so many years since that day.

In addition to continuing to help organize Long Beach Reads One Book for several more years, Susan was elected to the role of Vice President of Fund Development for two terms and is completing her term as President this year.

Susan’s dedication to the Library Foundation has helped the Foundation expand and support the Library in evolving to meet the changing needs of the city. Her love of literacy has been shared not only with those closest to her, but with the entire Long Beach community.

Susan Redfield speaking at the 2018 Grape Expectations fundraiser for the Library Foundation.

A Champion of Literacy’s Inspiration

Librarians are known for inspiring children to explore new worlds in books and helping to answer questions for homework, but they often go above and beyond in important and inspiring ways.

Kim Neipling was always involved in supporting libraries. As a high school student she could be often found in her library in El Centro, CA working part time in the children’s section. She formed a close relationship with the librarian, Romaine Magee, who was also a friend of Kim’s grandmother. When Kim left to attend California State University, Long Beach, Romaine sent her $50 every month to help support her studies. This act of kindness and generosity stayed with Kim and motivated her to look for ways to give back.

In 2007, Kim’s friend Lorrie Hutton invited her to join the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. As a Board member she co-chaired the event committee for the Library Foundation’s signature Grape Expectations fundraiser for four years in a row. She was also elected to the roles of Secretary, Nominating Chair, and Vice President of Board Development and invited several people to join the Board and watched them flourish in their dedication to libraries.

Having earned her degree in Microbiology Medical Technology, Kim continues to be inspired by how the Long Beach Public Library advances and provides new and exciting services. When the makerspace Studio opened at Main Library in 2014, Kim was amazed to see high school students and older retired patrons learning new technology and software in the same space. She witnessed a 3D model of a heart being printed in the Studio and was proud to be involved with a Library that is so ahead of its time.

From her time helping out her local library to raising funds for library programs and helping the Library Foundation grow, Kim is a true champion of literacy and education in Long Beach.

A Family Tradition of Supporting Libraries

Susan DeLand has served on the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors since 2002, but it wasn’t until earlier this year that she discovered that supporting libraries runs in her family.

Susan has been surrounded by books her entire career. An extensive career in publishing allowed her to work with beautiful art and historical works. In her role as Head of Retail & Merchandise Development for the J. Paul Getty Museum, she sat on the Executive Editorial Committee of Getty Publications. Her role was to literally judge books by their covers. Susan is currently series editor and author of a list of biographies for Benna Books.

Prior to joining the Foundation Board, Susan was a member of the task force to rebuild the Central Library in Los Angeles when it burned in 1986.

Diane Jacobus, former Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board President, recruited Susan to join the Board of Directors. In her role on the Board, she assists the Library Foundation in connecting with a wider audience, creating literary events with authors, sitting on the Library of the Future committee, and serving as Vice President of Fund Development and Vice President of Board Development.

One of Susan’s favorite library memories from the last few years was when she signed the first steel beam erected at the construction site of what will become the new Main Library in 2019. This was not Susan’s first time signing a construction beam. She was an executive on the building teams of several other nonprofit organizations including the Autry Museum of the American West, the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, and signed beams in each of those institutions as they were being built.

Susan has always known that her grandmother, Winifred DeLand, was an extraordinary woman from whom she inherited her love of gardening and books. However, during a recent visit to her mother’s house to go through old family records, she discovered that in addition to supporting several arts and education organizations and being a suffragette, her grandmother also served on the Library Foundation Board of Directors in the Monterey Park, California region for 12 years.

Susan is very proud to carry on both her grandmother’s traditions of social disruption and of championing literacy. “Grandma’s twinkling star is shining on me,” she said.

From left to right: Susan DeLand, Ron Brown, Anil Pandya, Abha Pandya, and Susan Redfield at the 2018 Carnegie 49 event.

Welcome to our newest Board Member, Sean Reilly

We welcome Sean Reilly to the Long Beach Public Library Foundation Board of Directors.

Sean is Vice President at Bank of America, responsible for supporting Risk Management Operations for the Soldiers, Credit Reporting & Bankruptcy business.  He has over 35 years’ industry experience and is active in numerous BofA volunteer and mentoring programs.

Previously, Sean held numerous Board positions including an executive role on the Board of Directors of the Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride (LBLGP) organization from 1985 to 2005.  Through his leadership, their event is recognized for its success and support of vital LGBTQ programs.

Since 2013, Sean has been involved with the Library Foundation Grape Expectations fundraiser as an attendee, volunteer, and most recently as committee lead for ambiance and décor at this year’s 15th anniversary event.  In his spare time, Sean enjoys traveling abroad and sharing great food and wine with family and friends.

Favorite Book: Sean enjoys the Harry Potter series and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling and all books about Star Wars.