The Witte Lectures

TICKETS for The Witte Lectures go on sale for Library Foundation Members only on October 21 at 8am.
Members receive advanced opportunity to purchase tickets for The Witte Season. We do expect a sold-out series and are not able to guarantee, hold tickets, or presale tickets prior to October 21. We will send an email out to the membership the day before tickets go on sale. If you have questions, please contact 949-717-3818 or

If you want to ensure you have seats for all 4 of The Witte Lectures and support the Library Foundation, program sponsorship guarantees you seats. Sponsorship levels start at $2,500. Click here to see all levels. if you would like more information, please contact Meg Linton, or 949-717-3890.  

Tickets to the General Public go on sale, November 1 at 8am. Thank you!

Library Foundation office hours 10am – 5pm

The NBPLF is pleased to announce the 23rd season of The Witte Lectures
January – April 2020

WITTE is for the curious, engaged and motivated. It presents serious topics for serious times. Join us for dynamic, informative, call-to-action conversations about the US Presidency, the impacts of income inequality, what to anticipate with rapid environmental change, and learn the societal price of addiction. Participate and be fortified. Understand the complexities of globally relevant issues. It’s all happening at the Library!

Doris Kearns Goodwin
Leadership in Turbulent Times
Friday, January 24, 7:00pm
Saturday, January 25, 2:00pm 

World-renowned presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin returns to Newport Beach to reflect on more than 150 years of US History, putting into context our most recent unprecedented presidency. Goodwin draws upon research from her most recent book Leadership in Turbulent Times (2018) which is a culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade long career studying American presidents. By sharing her deep understanding of the ambition, resolution, and resilience of some of our nation’s most revered presidents, Goodwin explains how past setbacks and triumphs shed light on the cultural, economic, and political transformations that define today’s turbulent times.  We are honored this Pulitzer Prize-winning author will, once again, share her wisdom on this important topic.

David Leonhardt
The American Dream, At RiskIncome Inequality and Us
Friday, February 28, 7:00pm 
Saturday, February 29, 2:00pm 

David Leonhardt joined The New York Times in 1999 and is an Op-Ed columnist. His weekday morning e-newsletter helps his readers make sense of current events by providing analysis and context. Prior to joining the Opinion department, he was founding editor of The Upshot section, which emphasizes data visualization and graphics to offer an analytical approach to the day’s news. He served as Washington bureau chief and wrote “Economic Scene” a weekly column for the Business section. He is a Pulitzer Prize and Gerald Loeb Award-winning author.

David Wallace-Wells
The Uninhabitable Earth – Climate Change is Here, in California
Friday, March 6, 7:00pm 
Saturday, March 7, 2:00pm 

Journalist David Wallace-Wells is a  National Fellow at New America and Deputy Editor at New York Magazine.  His acclaimed New York Times bestseller book The Uninhabitable Earth tells the scientific story of environmental damage to date. “It will always be the case that the next decade could contain more warming and more suffering or less warming and less suffering.”   He explains how the future is being transformed by climate change faster and more dramatically than we realized. He asks key questions: how will the map of global power shift as coast lines are redrawn? How will this affect California - our culture, our politics, our lifestyle?  What is our individual responsibility?  Can we have an impact?  Wallace-Wells reminds us that everything is within our control, so long as we resist complacency.

Sam Quinones     (to be rescheduled for 2020-2021)
Dreamland - Opioids in America: Past, Present, and Future
Friday, April 17, 7:00pm
Saturday, April 18, 2:00pm

Sam Quinones book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (2015) won a National Book Critics Circle Award and was on a dozen Best Book of the Year lists. Why? The book struck a common chord.  Quinones is a masterful storyteller and sought-after speaker who shares how the silent tragedy has impacted communities and families coast to coast.   And what a tale . . . Dreamland is riveting.   Quinones recounts how a pharmaceutical corporation promoted its legal opiate prescription painkiller as non-addictive and the rise of international drug trafficking.  The collision of these two forces has led America into the deadliest drug scourge in modern times. Dreamland is now being adapted for a young adult audience, grades 8-12.

Lecture Details and Ticket Information
Come to the lectures and chat with our speakers at a tasty post-lecture supper on Friday night or tea and cookies on Saturday afternoon. All lectures are at the Central Library. Tickets go on sale Friday, November 1, 2019. Questions? or call 949-717-3818.

Friday, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Lecture, Book Sale & Signing, Light Supper with Wine
General $65 // NBPLF Member: $60

Saturday, 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Lecture, Book Sale & Signing, Refreshments
General $45 // NBPLF Member: $40

THANK YOU! to The Witte Committee: Karen Clark, Lisa Edwards, John Gunnin, Janet Hadley (Chair), Diane Hafer, Signe Keller, Kurt Kost (Library Trustee Liaison), Marilyn Krahe, Gordon McAlpine, Ellen Shockro, Jene Witte, Lizanne Witte