LIBRARIES ARE A ‘PUBLIC TREASURE,’ SAYS NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Longtime Bay Area non-profit leader Kathy Huff joined the Berkeley Public Library Foundation in early January as its new Executive Director, bringing a passion for libraries and a deep commitment to their role in a diverse and vibrant community.
An East Bay resident, Kathy has 20 years of experience working in nonprofit leadership and fundraising, and a personal belief that libraries play a critical role in today’s society.
“Libraries are central to our democracy, personal growth, and the future of any thriving community,” Kathy says. “I look forward with great enthusiasm to everything we will do together to support the Berkeley Public Library.”
Kathy has spent her professional life in community service. After graduating from Syracuse University she helped direct a theater company dedicated to bringing live performances to communities and schools with limited access to the arts. She then became an agency director providing family crisis services.
After earning her Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University, she worked with religious institutions with a focus on economic and environmental justice, affordable housing, public education, LGBTQ equality, and global human rights. Most recently Kathy has been an active consultant, providing leadership and project management to support and strengthen institutions in times of change and transition.
As Executive Director, will Kathy manage the day-to-day operations of the Berkeley Public Library Foundation, working closely with its Board of Directors. She is passionately committed to the Foundation’s mission of sustaining the excellence of the Berkeley Public Library through fundraising and advocacy, helping it thrive and evolve as a vibrant resource for the community.
“Libraries change lives like no other institution,” she says. “They bring families closer together, give teenagers a safe place to be and learn, and open doors for all to the worlds of reading and technology. They give us so much more than we can ever give back — I’m thrilled to help preserve and promote this public treasure in Berkeley.”
The BPLF Board unanimously chose Kathy as Executive Director after a broad and careful search, says Board president Trish Hawthorn. Kathy succeeds Kirsten Cowan, who is returning to her hometown in Canada after three successful years in the post, during which the Foundation completed its Neighborhood Libraries Campaign, raising nearly $3 million to outfit Berkeley’s new and renovated branch libraries.
The Foundation looks forward to introducing Kathy to the Berkeley community and library supporters at events and meetings throughout the coming months. Look for details on upcoming events at www.bplf.org.