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Alicia Rodriguez Statement

Dear Reforma board members and chapter representatives and Reforma members,

I think all of us realize how much we owe to many volunteers and helping hands who turned Reforma National in what it has become today. When I attended my first Reforma LA meeting five years ago, my greatest surprise was to meet other librarians who worked with the Latino and Spanish speaking communities at their libraries. With the help and guidance of joining Reforma LA chapter, I felt empowered and not alone. I was among peers who shared my same ideas and the common goal to outreach and educate our communities of the valuable resources their libraries have to offer.

After attending a Bilingual Story time workshop, I found myself attending meetings and becoming a member. I was being provided with resources, and ideas for my programming and outreach. After a few years, I was elected as vice president, what an honor to be thought of by your peers as someone who is a leader. I then became President of Reforma LA chapter. Every day or every meeting I would think to myself, how could I make it better, what new information can I bring. I sought the help of my board and we helped one another. It is important as a leader to check in with everyone and make sure the goals are being met or if someone is not feeling they are being supported to provide a space to share or seek guidance.

Attending the annual ALA conference didn’t seem so lonely after joining Reforma. At the ALA conference I was able to meet and network with members of other chapters and meet board members of Reforma National. It was a great experience to be present at the Quinceanera for the Pura Belpre awards. Meeting the authors, their journeys, and the celebration was more than I could imagine. It made me realize that I was and am where I need to be. I did not choose this career, the career chose me.

I am embarking on a new position this year and I feel I can continue to seek the guidance of my fellow colleagues of our profession. I also find it important to contribute to an organization that has empowered and provided me with meeting and networking with great people. My thanks and contribution as Treasurer would be to help this organization continue to grow and assist in accomplishing its goals.

To me, the only reason someone should run for any officer position is if he/she believes they can be useful and help advance the organization. As a treasurer, my main goals will be to:

Ensure sound finances, and work on ways to increase the incoming stream. In addition, work actively to ensure good use of any 'outgoing' dollars. This includes working on fundraising ideas/projects and working on member retention.

Assist all chapters and officers with financial matters and/or fundraising. By being accessible and responding in a timely manner and assisting when needed.

Reforma National has done a great job of maintaining transparency and accountability towards its members. Let's keep it that way.

Work on expanding student and member involvement in the finance committee and offering opportunities to motivated individuals to make a difference through teamwork and by offering guidance as required. I strongly believe in empowering people, any one person by itself cannot nearly accomplish as much as a well-functioning group of people.

Listen closely to the needs and suggestions from Reforma Chapters and members, and represent them as best as possible as a board member.

Thank you,
Alicia M. Rodriguez
Bilingual Outreach Librarian
Westwood Branch Library
1246 Glendon Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024