California State Librarian: Who Is Greg Lucas?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Greg Lucas

The next California State Librarian is not a librarian.

Governor Jerry Brown announced on Monday that Greg Lucas, a longtime Bay Area political writer with deep political connections, will take over the post last occupied by Stacey Aldrich, an early internet technology enthusiast and a self-proclaimed “futuring junkie” with a master’s degree in library science who was state librarian from 2009-2012. She left for the same position in Pennsylvania.

Gerry Maginnity served as acting state librarian after Aldrich left.

Professional librarians, who reportedly feared that Brown would make a political appointment rather than select a librarian, were not happy with the choice of Lucas.

“What the hell?” Roy B. Stone, president of the Librarians’ Guild, inquired of a Los Angeles Times reporter. The Guild represents 350 librarians in Los Angeles. “I’m tired of political appointments everywhere you go for everything,” Stone said. “How about the ability of the person to do the job? His resume at this point is pretty lacking as far as the ability to do that job.”

Maybe next time.

According to a political website Lucas founded, California’s Capitol, he “has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Stanford University and a Masters degree in Professional Writing—as opposed to amateurish writing—from the University of Southern California. But academics has never stood in the way of his education.”

It might, a little bit, this time. Evan Westup, a spokesman for the governor, said Lucas would get some “technical training” through the library science program at San Jose State University in the near future.

Lucas wrote about politics for the Los Angeles Daily Journal from 1985 to 1988 before moving to the San Francisco Chronicle, where he was a reporter and Sacramento bureau chief for 19 years. He is regarded as a political satirist.

Lucas blogged at California’s Capitol after leaving the newspaper. He is also a contributing editor at Capitol Weekly, a Sacramento-based political website. The California State Library (CSL) is across the street from the State Capitol Building.

The library was founded in 1850, before California became a state. It is a resource for the governor and lawmakers, a repository for the legislation they create and a provider of services for the state's public libraries. The library is the preeminent source for information about California's history and governance.

Divisions of the main library include: the Government Publications Section, the California History Room, the Witkin State Law Library and the Braille and Talking Book Library. The CSL also operates the Sutro Library in San Francisco, a research library best known for its genealogy collection. 

Lucas is the son of former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas. He is married to Donna Lucas, who runs Lucas Public Affairs, a political public relations firm in Sacramento. Before that, she had a long history of working for Republican politicians.

She was deputy press secretary for Governor George Deukmejian, California press secretary for President George H.W. Bush, deputy chief of staff for strategic planning and initiatives for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then chief of staff for First Lady Maria Shriver.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Jerry Brown Appoints Former Reporter Greg Lucas as State Librarian (by Dan Walter, Sacramento Bee)

Brown's State Librarian Appointment Isn't by the Book  (by Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times)

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