Greg Lucas was appointed California’s 25th State Librarian by Governor Jerry Brown on March 25, 2014.
Prior to his appointment, Greg was the Capitol Bureau Chief for the San Francisco Chronicle where he covered politics and policy at the State Capitol for nearly 20 years.
During Greg’s tenure as State Librarian, the State Library’s priorities have been to improve reading skills throughout the state, put library cards into the hands of every school kid and provide all Californians the information they need – no matter what community they live in.
The State Library invests $10 million annually in local libraries to help them develop more innovative and efficient ways to serve their communities.
Since 2015, the State Library has improved access for millions of Californians by helping connect more than half of the state’s 1,100 libraries to a high-speed Internet network that links universities, colleges, schools, and libraries around the world.
Greg holds a Master’s in Library and Information Science from California State University San Jose, a Master’s in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California, and a degree in communications from Stanford University.
Deputy State Librarian
Rebecca Wendt was appointed Deputy State Librarian on September 16, 2019.
She joined the California State Library in October 2016 as the State Library Services Bureau Chief. Prior to her arrival at the Library, Rebecca was Deputy State Archivist at the California State Archives, where she had worked since 2001. Previously, she was a Manuscripts and Photographs Curator at UC Davis in the Special Collections Department of the University Library. She also worked for the Yolo County Library System, including the Turner Branch in West Sacramento and the Yolo County Archives. She even spent one summer managing and driving the Yolo County Bookmobile.
As Deputy State Librarian, Rebecca oversees the “program and operations sides” of the California State Library, which include the State Library Services and Library Development Services bureaus. State Library Services is made up of the Braille and Talking Book Library, the California History Section, Information Services, the Government Publications Section, the Witkin State Law Library, and the Sutro Library (in San Francisco). The bureau is also responsible for the acquisition, cataloging, maintenance, and preservation of the State Library’s collections. Library Development Services administers state and federal grant programs for California’s libraries, works to enhance library collaboration and resource-sharing, and provides consulting services to public libraries and associated groups and organizations. These activities help libraries support existing programs, develop innovative new programs, extend and enhance library services across the state, and achieve the greatest benefit from funding sources.
Rebecca earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University.
Bureau Chief, Library Development Services
Natalie Cole was appointed Library Development Services Bureau Chief in November 2020. Natalie joined the State Library in May 2016 and has served as Library Programs Consultant and Assistant Bureau Chief in Library Development Services. Prior to joining the State Library, she was the interim Executive Director of the California Library Association. Natalie holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Librarianship from the University of Sheffield, U.K.
As Library Development Services Bureau Chief, Natalie oversees the administration of state and federal grant programs for California libraries. In addition to grant-making, Library Development Services works to enhance library collaboration and resource-sharing, and provides consulting services to public libraries and associated groups and organizations. These activities help libraries support existing programs, develop innovative new programs, extend and enhance library services across the state, and achieve the greatest benefit from funding sources.
Jessica “Jessie” Knox-Jensen
Bureau Chief, State Library Services
Jessica “Jessie” Knox-Jensen was appointed State Library Services Bureau Chief in March 2020. Jessie initially joined the California State Library in November 2018 as the State Library Services Assistant Bureau Chief. Prior to her arrival at the Library, Jessie held various positions at the California State Archives. Jessie earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree from San Jose State University and a Master of Arts degree in Public History from Sacramento State University.
As the State Library Services Bureau Chief, Jessie oversees the “operations side” of the California State Library. State Library Services is made up of the Braille and Talking Book Library, the California History Section, Information Services, the Government Publications Section, the Witkin State Law Library, and the Sutro Library (in San Francisco). The bureau is also responsible for the acquisition, cataloging, maintenance, and preservation of the State Library’s collections.
Bureau Chief, Information Technology Bureau
Michael Martinez has been Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the California State Library since May of 2016. He started his career at the California State Library in 1996 as a student assistant in the California Research Bureau. Since that time, he has held a variety of positions in the Information Technology Bureau including being named Chief Information Officer in 2016.
His responsibility includes overseeing the efficient and effective use of information technology and telecommunications resources and solutions within the State Library. He manages the day-to-day operations of the information technology bureau including directing staff, who support administrative computing, networking, user services, telecommunications, and other information technology functions.
Michael is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Management Information Systems.
Communications Manager, Communication and Outreach
Alex Vassar began his role as Communications Manager for the California State Library in May 2017.
Prior to his arrival at the Library, Alex worked for the State of California since 2007 when he was selected as a California Senate Fellow. Since then, he worked for both houses of the California Legislature and the State Board of Equalization before joining the California State Library.
Alex manages the State Library’s Communications Office which handles media inquiries and shares news about the library through press releases and the library’s social media outlets. The office also manages the library’s public events and schedules tours of the historic Library and Courts Building.
Alex holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California.
Bureau Chief, Administrative Services
Elizabeth “Liz” Vierra assumed the role of the Department’s Administrative Services Bureau Chief in November 2015. Since 2013, she had served as the Department’s Personnel, Labor Relations and EEO Officer in Human Resources.
Prior to joining the State Library, Liz worked at the California Department of Consumer Affairs, where she served as a human resources manager since 2008. Additionally, she has held various positions at the Department of Health Services, Department of Justice Attorney General’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol and has served more than 23 years in public service.
As Bureau Chief of Administrative Services, Liz oversees the State Library’s Fiscal Services, Business Services, Policy and Compliance, and Human Resources Offices.
She studied Accounting, Human Resources and Business Administration at Sacramento City College and California State University, Sacramento.
Acting Director, California Research Bureau
Tom Negrete was named acting director of the California Research Bureau in February 2021.
He joined the State Library as an assistant director at the Research Bureau in June 2016. Prior to his arrival at the Library, Tom worked as a newspaper editor, with stops as managing editor at CalMatters, director of innovation and managing editor at the Sacramento Bee, and assistant to the national editor at the New York Times. He was also a consultant to the American Press Institute, where he researched and wrote papers on how the newspaper industry could leverage its online user behavior data to drive online reader engagement and subscribers.
At the Research Bureau, Tom and his team provide nonpartisan and timely information services, research and analysis to the Legislature and Governor’s Office. The Research Bureau is also home to the California Grants Portal, the state’s one website to find all grants and loans offered on a competitive or first-come basis by more than 50 state agencies, and the California Homeless Youth Project, which is focused on bringing youth to the policy table and to informing policymakers, opinion leaders and other stakeholders about the needs of unaccompanied homeless youth.
Tom earned a masters in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.