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Nominee to be city librarian quizzed on his summer reading list

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Nominee to lead Los Angeles' library system is spending his summer reading a biography on of Olimpia Maidalchini.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s pick to be the next city librarian was approved by a Los Angeles City Council committee today, but not before members could quiz him on his summer reading list.

John Szabo was previously the director of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System. If the Los Angeles City Council confirms him, Szabo would replace Martin Gomez as city librarian.  

Appearing before the Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee, Szabo reported he is reading a biography of Olimpia Maidalchini, who is referred to as the first female pope for her work with the Vatican in the 1600s.

“It’s a fascinating biography,” Szabo said.

A brief description of the book prompted Councilman Richard Alarcon to tell his colleague, "Mr. LaBonge, I think you’re reading that same book.”  

Councilman Tom LaBonge retorted: "I’m just reading my mail."

Szabo's appointment is expected to be voted on by the city council some time in the next week. 

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