Dorothy Lazard has a long to-do list. An interview and photoshoot at 1:30 p.m., a meeting at 4:00 p.m., emails to reply to, and boxes outside her office with donated historical records that she has to look through. Her days have been busier than normal lately because Lazard, a 21-year employee of the Oakland Public Library who has led its renowned History Room for the past 12 years, is retiring on Dec. 23...
Lazard studied at UC Berkeley’s School of Library and Information Studies in the early 1980s. (In 2006 it was renamed The UC Berkeley School of Information.) Prior to working at the Oakland Public Library, she worked in two small UC Berkeley libraries: the Counseling and Psychological Services Library during the 1980s, and the Women’s Resource Center Library from 1990-1999. She also had a job at Global English, a technology company that taught people around the world to learn English. “I wasn’t an ESL teacher. But these dot-comers thought they needed a librarian,” she said. After nine years at Oakland Public Library, she was put in charge of the Oakland History Room in 2009.