Job position and place of employment
Library Branch Manager - Santa Cruz Public Libraries (SCPL)
Current MLIS program and/or educational background
Currently in MLIS program at San José State University (SJSU), BS in Public Health from SJSU
What are your primary responsibilities at work?
I am responsible for opening/closing my library branch and overseeing daily operations. I assist patrons, provide direct service to the public, hire, train, evaluate, and supervise staff. I also collaborate with other SCPL staff for the development and implementation of services and programs.
How does your work impact Latinx and Spanish-speaking communities?
I am the only woman of color branch manager in my system. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, which is the community my system serves. Due to this, I am able to provide a Latinx, Spanish-speaking (by no means monolithic) perspective. I am able to advocate for the Latinx and Spanish-speaking community of Santa Cruz County in regard to representation, services, and programs our system can provide. I hope that my work impacts the Latinx and Spanish-speaking community of Santa Cruz County in such a way that there are lasting, equitable outcomes.
I am the only woman of color branch manager in my system. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz, which is the community my system serves. Due to this, I am able to provide a Latinx, Spanish-speaking (by no means monolithic) perspective.
Share with us some gratifying aspects of your work.
One of the most gratifying aspects of my work is being able to make a tangible impact for my community- the Latinx, Spanish-speaking community of Santa Cruz County. To be able to work in the libraries that provided me with so much joy throughout my youth is truly fulfilling. I also greatly enjoy seeing (pre-COVID) patrons who feel represented by my presence in the library. It feels incredibly satisfying to be able to provide services to Spanish-speaking patrons in Spanish because when I was growing up, I rarely ever saw anyone who looked like me in libraries or was a native Spanish speaker.
Offer words of advice to other colleagues and/or present and future MLIS students.
To other colleagues- practice self-care whenever you can, especially in these current circumstances.
To present and future MLIS students- definitely do not feel pressured to take on too many classes at once. I am currently taking 5 classes and find myself constantly rushing. Also, take advantage of all the resources the MLIS program has to offer. For instance, at SJSU our student group (REFORMA SJSU iSchool Student and Alumni Group) is there for support, networking, and resources. There are many other student groups available for you to join, depending on your interests. Lastly, save and organize all your assignments and relevant articles for your e-portfolio in folders and back up your files.
Tell us about programs/projects you have worked on or are working on, either at work or with REFORMA.
I have worked at my library system for a little over a year. I have closed my library branch for renovations (helped empty the building, weed our collection, etc.) and have joined various committees including our equity committee and our bilingual services committee. I am currently working on how to increase equity in our organization both internally and through the services and programs we provide. REFORMA-related, I am Vice President of our newly established REFORMA SJSU iSchool Student and Alumni Group.
Tell us about services you/your organization is providing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Santa Cruz Public Libraries is providing curbside services during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as various online programs and services. We are preparing our system to transition from curbside services to lobby services. This entails limited, regulated entry into a controlled portion of our buildings for patrons.