My name is Beatriz Guevara and I am a Reference Librarian at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in Charlotte, NC. I was born in Mexico City, and raised in California, Texas and North Carolina. I have a strong passion for incorporating programs and services for Spanish-speakers in the library. When I was younger and just beginning to learn English, I would frequently visit my middle school library and read books to increase my vocabulary. There I met a wonderful, bilingual librarian and decided to follow in her footsteps.
As a Latina in a profession where racially and ethnically diverse staff is uncommon, I have had to face many challenges along the way. I worked my way through college and library school, being the first one in my family to graduate with a higher education degree. It took me longer than the traditional student to complete my education, but it is something I highly value and I am now exploring my options for enrolling in a Ph.D. program. In 2012 I was one of 10 librarians selected for the ALA/NY Times/Carnegie Corporation “I Love My Librarian” Award. This recognition was made possible by the nomination from a young lady who attended one of my college information workshops. Last year, I was one of only 40 librarians selected from a highly competitive national pool to participate in ALA’s “Leading to the Future,” an immersive leadership development program for future leaders.
In addition to my key responsibilities providing reference and reader’s advisory assistance to our patrons, I am also the lead for the Latino Services Team and the co-lead for the Reaching Diverse Audiences Team. I created the Latino Services Team in 2011 to unite library staff, community leaders and volunteers with the purpose of improving and expanding the services and resources offered to our Latino population. The Reaching Diverse Audiences Team focuses on integrating diversity into the library through programming and professional development opportunities for staff. Additionally, I work closely with volunteers to provide technology and homework tutoring to our patrons, and assist staff with programs and events.
I am a strong advocate for diversity, community outreach and innovative programming focused on users’ needs. I have partnered with community agencies to create new programs such as computer classes, literacy workshops, cultural events and workforce development classes. Since joining REFORMA, I have actively participated in several REFORMA committees including the Program, Scholarship, Recruitment and Mentoring, Education and Membership committees. My work with these wonderful individuals has equipped me with competencies such as networking and social media marketing. I am skilled in desktop publishing, digital media, graphic design, and virtual learning environments, all of which are imperative tools for the 21st century leader.
However, my principal leadership strengths are my passion, enthusiasm and love for our profession and the people we serve. I believe that it is fundamental for a leader to possess the ability to connect with people and build positive relationships and trust. This, along with my strong organizational skills and creativity, is what I would bring to REFORMA as Vice President/President Elect. Sólo trabajando juntos lograremos grandes hazañas (Only by working together will we achieve great feats). I promise my time, dedication and whole-hearted efforts as we continue to make REFORMA the remarkable organization it is!
¡Gracias! Thank you!
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
Independence Regional Library
6000 Conference Drive
Charlotte, NC 28212