Dorothy Lazard, Recently Retired Head Librarian of the Oakland History Center, on Shining a Light on a City's Untold Stories

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The Oakland Library's Dorothy Lazard with an exhibition commemorating the A's 50 years in Oakland. (Pendarvis Harshaw)

Dorothy Lazard, who retired as head librarian of the Oakland History Center last month, has her own fan club, composed of grateful readers, patrons, journalists, professors, and writers. Her devoted following is the result of 21 years spent at the Oakland Public Library, the last dozen at the History Center where she meticulously and thoughtfully shed light on the untold stories of Oakland, its people and its history. We talk to Lazard about what it means to hold a city’s history and what she plans on doing next.


Dorothy Lazard, former head librarian, Oakland History Center. Lazard worked as a librarian with Oakland Public Library for 21 years and spent the last 12 of those years at the Oakland History Center.