Chief Librarian Retires

Media Contact:  
John C. Martin, City Manager (650) 991-8127
Susanna C. Gilden, Daly City Public Library Director (650) 991-8025

Daly City – Library Director Susanna Gilden, a seasoned librarian with 30 years of public service, will leave the Daly City position she has held the past five years on June 27.

Gilden became Daly City’s Chief Librarian in 1998. Under Gilden’s leadership, the Daly City Library launched its new website ( and developed a new mission statement, “Preserving Yesterday, Informing Today, Inspiring Tomorrow.” During her tenure, the four-branch Daly City Public Library was awarded more than $100,000 in computers and software from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the California State Library InfoPeople project and the Fred Gellert Foundation. Grants in excess of $60,000 for library books, videos and DVD’s were also received. Gilden oversaw the completion of the $2.5 million renovation and expansion of the Westlake library branch, and participated in the preliminary design for a proposed $7.7 million renovation and expansion of the Serramonte Main Library.

City Manager John C. Martin underscored Gilden’s work on several major capital improvement projects in Daly City. “From the onset, Susanna provided the leadership necessary to open a fully renovated Westlake Library. She has made significant contributions in the design of the new Bayshore and John Daly branches, along with the expansion plans for the Serramonte main library. Susanna brought considerable expertise to our community, and has done an outstanding job. I will miss working with her,” Martin commented.

Mayor Adrienne J. Tissier echoed similar sentiments. “Susanna has earned the respect of many, from library professionals to community leaders. Her natural affinity for libraries is reflected in her successful career that spans three decades. Daly City will continue to enjoy her achievements over the years, long after she has retired,” Tissier noted.

Gilden is affiliated with various professional organizations, including the California Library Association, the Public Library Association and the American Library Association. She also served on the administrative council of the countywide Peninsula Library System (PLS). Though supportive of state and national library-related issues, Gilden favored working on local issues and collaborating with community-wide groups, such as the Daly City Library Board of Trustees, the Friends of the Daly City Library, the Daly City/Colma History Guild, Project Read of North San Mateo County Trivia Challenge, the Daly City Peninsula Partnership and the Jefferson Union High School District Library Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Daly City Host Lions Club.

“The last five years as Library Director for Daly City have been challenging and rewarding,” Gilden commented. “The City Council and City Manager are strong library supporters, and the City has a hard-working library staff. It is great to know that the work I started will flourish under their care.“

An ardent supporter of the Volunteers in Daly City program, Gilden has utilized student volunteers in many aspects of the library operations. This year’s Student Volunteer of the Year and Site Supervisor of the Year awards were given to a library volunteer and a library staff, respectively.

Gilden worked for the Oakland Public Library from May 1974 to July 1998, and served as Interim Library Director for nine months in 1996. She also worked as a librarian at Singer Business Machines in San Leandro, the Panama Canal Zone Library and Museum, and the San Francisco law firm of Steinhart, Goldberg, Feigenbaum and Ladar. She received her Master’s Degree in Librarianship from University of California at Berkeley.

Upon retirement, Gilden looks forward to spending more time with her husband, Carl, and son Clay, 24, in Oakland where the family resides.