State Library creates Greg Schmidt collection

A tiny sampling of the books on Greg Schmidt's home shelves.

The California State Library is setting up a special collection in honor of Gregory Schmidt, the long-time ranking Senate staffer who died of cancer at the age of 69.

State Librarian Greg Lucas said in an email that the Greg Schmidt Collection on Political Leadership will include “any number of books, articles, movies, podcasts, lectures and case studies besides those in Greg’s personal library that inform today’s political leaders.”

After his death, many of Schmidt’s books came to the State Library and formed the basis of the collection, Lucas noted.

Greg Schmidt

“This collection is a way to honor Greg’s memory and his contributions to California governance but, like California, the collection should be diverse and continually evolving,” he said.

Schmidt’s home was filled with hundreds of books on shelves in room after room, friends said.

The Oakland-born Schmidt, who died Aug. 25, served 18 years as the state Senate’s top staffer — as secretary of the Senate and executive officer of the five-member Senate Rules Committee, which assigns bills and advises on gubernatorial appointees.

Before that, he served as chief consultant on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and also served on the Assembly staff. He received degrees from Santa Clara University and UC Berkeley, and got his start in politics as a volunteer for the Democratic Party after spending a year in seminary school.

A more detailed biography is available here.

Lucas said the public can contribute to the California State Library Foundation to support the new collection and other programs. Contributions to the foundation are tax deductible. Materials can be sent to 914 Capitol Mall, Room 220, Sacramento 95814.

“Be sure to include the reasons why what you’re giving should be part of this collection,” Lucas said. “That makes the material much more meaningful to future users.”


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