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Atlanta librarian appointed to oversee Los Angeles' system

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The director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System was appointed today to serve as Los Angeles’ new city librarian.

John Szabo will replace Martin Gomez, who left the post last month to become the vice dean of USC Libraries.

"John Szabo is uniquely qualified to lead our city’s renowned library system into a new era of innovation, expanded services and enhanced accessibility,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement. ”With his experience, leadership and vision, we will develop the 21st Century’s premiere public library system to benefit all Angelenos.”

The 2012-13 budget, signed earlier this month by the mayor, provides funding to keep branch libraries open on Monday and Wednesday nights and Friday mornings. That funding is the result of Measure L, which changed the city charter to give the library system more tax dollars.

Szabo has spent the last seven years overseeing the library system in Atlanta. He has no relation to Villaraigosa's Deputy Chief of Staff Matt Szabo.

The city’s library system has an annual budget of $113 million and includes the downtown library and 72 branches. 

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