Statement of Purpose
Candidate, Central Chapter Representative, REFORMA National
Hello Reformistas! My name is Simone Groene-Nieto and I am running for Central Chapter Representative for REFORMA National. Why am I a good choice? Please allow me to introduce myself.
I am a librarian at the Denver Public Library, where I have worked closely with Latinos, Spanish Speakers and other underserved communities for almost a decade. I started as a clerk in a primarily Spanish-speaking branch (I’m bilingual), then spent several years creating and coordinating bilingual family programming, which was fun and a great learning experience. Once I earned my MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a certificate in Community Informatics, I became the Spanish technology class coordinator, where I created and taught weekly tech classes in Spanish and conducted community outreach to Denver’s immigrant neighborhoods. It was an honor to fill this role and work actively to bridge the Digital Divide. (Maybe you saw me present on this topic last year at RNC V, or maybe you’ll catch a similar presentation I’m doing at PLA in April?)
I joined REFORMA Colorado in 2011 and filled the roles of Secretary, Vice President, President and then Past President, which is an active leadership role in our chapter. I also created the REFORMA Mini-Conference, which is a wildly successful learning event now in its fourth year, focused exclusively on helping library workers serve Latino and Spanish speaking customers in a wide variety of library types. The Mini-Conference has grown by over 200% since its inception, and through my work as chair the Mini-Conference has lead REFORMA Colorado to become one of the most engaged, participative and financially viable chapters- we are now in a position where we offer a variety of small grants and scholarships to our members. Through REFORMA, I have the great pleasure of collaborating with an *incredible* group of passionate librarians of diverse age groups, backgrounds and library types including former ALA President and living legend Camila Alire, who nominated me for this position.
In addition to my leadership role in REFORMA Colorado, I am also the webmaster, defacto graphic designer and IT “guru.” I am a tech savvy millennial, I can’t lie, and I believe my ability to use current technologies would be a great benefit for a chapter rep. My coordination and reporting skills will also serve me well in this role; I am highly organized, optimistic and tirelessly passionate about improving the lives of Latinos and Spanish speakers. It would be an honor to join the National team, learn more about what Reformistas in my region are doing, and discover ways that National can support the state chapters in their efforts.