February 17, 2018

Lisa G. Rosenblum | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Innovators

Lisa G. Rosenblum, Hayward Public Library, CABig-Picture Thinker

The 19 years she’d spent planning for and comanaging San José’s joint public/university library gave Lisa Rosenblum a deep understanding of the broader community context for public libraries. After an additional three years directing the Hayward Public Library, CA, she was ripe for the challenge City Manager Greg Jones offered in 2008: directing the city’s new Neighborhood Services Department, embracing the library, social services, community preservation, strategic neighborhood initiatives, and more.

Jones chose Rosenblum “because of her leadership abilities and her vision to integrate beyond what typical library services provide.” He’d seen her vision in action: directing the ongoing project of constructing a new main library; bringing in Envirosell to analyze customers’ experience with the library’s design; and renovating interior design and services accordingly at both library facilities.

Adult services manager Sean Reinhart points out that “even as the city budget decreased and library allocations for staff and materials were reduced,” Rosenblum produced a 32 percent increase in library circulation with a 29 percent smaller collection.

That’s largely because, where others see problems, Rosenblum sees opportunity. When customers complained about noisy children and teens, for example, she used a state library grant to start a popular Early Learning with Families program, moved a professional position to serve teens full time, and created a teen advisory group to help design new teen spaces.

Her new position allows Rosenblum the benefits of synergy. Learning about an earmark for after-school programs that the former Neighborhood Services manager didn’t know what to do with, she used the funds for a homework center, complete with laptops and a bilingual teacher.

Rosenblum isn’t just seeing the big picture now—she’s redrawing it.


Hayward Public Library, CA

POSITION Director, Library and Neighborhood Services

DEGREE MLS, San José State University, 1994

HEADSTRONG Collects vintage hats