* Elizabeth Martinez Smith, who earned a reputation for cultivating multiethnic library services in Orange County, has become the first Latino person to head the 63-branch Los Angeles City Library system. "The library has an opportunity to become a haven, a beacon for such a multicultural, diverse community," said Martinez Smith, 47. "I want it to be a place that people will call their own, where they'll find expressions of their own culture and ability to learn about others--whether that's books, music or art or literacy." Martinez Smith, who has degrees from UCLA and USC, took over her new $105,000-a-year post in June.
* The next threshold for Latinos in journalism will be to break into management, said Mike Castro as he prepared to leave his job as executive director of the California Chicano News Media Assn. to return to reporting at the Sacramento Bee. "If editors see society in much the same way as before, Latino journalists are not going to make an impact," said Castro. Castro grew up in San Diego, where he dropped out of eighth grade. At 21 he returned to school and eventually earned a degree at Cal State Los Angeles. He borrowed from a corrido to say adios to his CCNMA colleagues: "Adios amigos. Ya con esta me despido." ("Goodby, friends. With this, I say farewell.")