Mary Pastrana


Central Region Representative

My love of libraries began at a young age when my mother would take me to visit the public library in my hometown of Santa Ana. It was there that I discovered books on cassette and immersed myself in tales like Frog and Toad or The Berenstain Bears, which ignited my love of reading and imagination. This marked a pivotal moment in my life. As someone who faced challenges with reading in English, having access to these resources was incredibly valuable for my language development. The library provided learning materials that catered to my needs and ultimately facilitated my growth in English. While my childhood dealt with suppressing my Spanish language so that I could grow in English, I am happy to see the progress libraries are making in their collection development and in their workforce diversity. There is still much work to be done but I believe we are heading in the right direction thanks to the advocacy efforts of library associations like Reforma.
Though my professional path led me away from libraries for a time, I eventually made my way back in 2016, serving as a school librarian in downtown Santa Ana. Since then I have dedicated almost eight years to the library profession. I have had the great fortune of serving in leadership roles throughout my career. First as a school librarian in California, then as a programming and outreach coordinator in Oregon, and now proudly serving as a librarian for the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Tucson, Arizona. In addition, I am also pursuing my MLIS from the iSchool at San Jose State. Although I have been away from home for quite some time, I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve diverse communities, particularly with Spanish-speaking members. My profession has given me the ability to connect with my roots, culture, and traditions even while living far from my home.

In my various roles throughout my library profession, I have dedicated my time to fostering collaboration, engaging in interpersonal communication, prioritizing community engagement, and creatively presenting library services. After reading the Reforma manual, the Central Region Representative role is largely based on communication and serving as the liaison between chapters and the Executive Board. With my strong communication skills and ability to maintain relationships, I feel confident in my ability to communicate with chapter members effectively. Another reason for my interest in the Central Region Representative role is my experience spanning three states, two of which are located within the parameters of the Central Region and maintaining those valuable connections with former colleagues. I look forward to collaborating, assisting, and engaging with fellow Reformistas from this region to further the goals and mission of Reforma as a whole.
I am eager to contribute to the association’s mission of promoting, growing and sustaining library and information services to Latinos and Spanish-speaking communities, while advocating for their unique needs.
 In the Yaqui language the word “sewa” has two meanings. The first being the literal meaning of a flower, while the second meaning is your calling in life or your purpose in this life. For me, my “sewa” is library service; it harnesses my passion and dedication to making a positive difference in my community and I strongly believe in the transformative power of libraries and look forward to my continued relationship with serving diverse communities through impactful library and information services with Reforma. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the nomination process.
Mary Pastrana