A podcast about history

That's not stuck in the past


As a librarian at the Oakland History Center, Dorothy Lazard helped countless patrons research their connections to the past. In her new memoir “What You Don’t Know Will Make a Whole New World,” she digs into her own history, examining the forces that shaped her young life in San Francisco and Oakland. After getting bounced around between relatives, schools, and towns in her early years, Dorothy found refuge in reading, a habit that would have a profound impact on how she established her place in a tumultuous world.

To commemorate the release of this memoir, I recorded a conversation with Dorothy in front of a live audience at Clio’s Bookshop on June 4, 2023. In addition to discussing her book, we also cover her favorite History Center memories, what it was like to live through “urban renewal,” the importance of libraries, and much more. Listen now via Apple, SoundCloud, Spotify, or wherever you get podcasts.

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Dorothy has been helping me examine local history since the very first episode of East Bay Yesterday. Although she retired from the Oakland Library, she is still an active researcher. One of her next books will cover the history of African Americans in Oakland.

“You get to play a game of detective”

Longtime librarian Dorothy Lazard uncovers “a whole new world”
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