Serena Vaquilar



As a library professional, I feel like I have searched for a place to call my home for a while. Although I certainly have a familiar feeling among my music peers in MLA (Music Library Association), I believe I truly found mi gente when I had the opportunity to attend my first Joint Conference of Librarians of Color in 2018, in Albuquerque, NM. There, I found space among people who both looked like me, and those who didn’t, and in betwixt us was shared space for our experiences, and sometimes, our similar traumas, as well as our space to uphold one another and heal to make the library profession a better one with us in it. It has therefore been a goal of mine to figure out how I can support REFORMA for our common good, and to support my brothers and sisters as we continue on this journey together; I believe this role as Treasurer Elect is the one for me to make strides toward that goal.
I come to you with hands-on experience building budgets utilizing such tools as QuickBooks and a deep knowledge of Excel and Google Sheets. I have experience both going through an audit at the Music Library Association as the Chief Financial Officer and serving as the officer in charge of all fiscal functions for the association. Thus, I offer you a solid practical understanding of the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that govern strong fiscal policies, which necessitate separation of duties and inherently helps safeguard against fraud. I believe this knowledge could assist REFORMA in remaining financially solvent. At MLA, I have pushed for better Inclusivity, through a financial lens, and I hope to continue this work in REFORMA. For an example of “pushing for better inclusivity through a financial lens,” I would point to my work in creating a lottery for conference hotel room sponsorships to a) help with the conference hotel block obligation, and b) to remove the financial burden of a hotel room for a few nights for a few randomly selected members. This lottery was possible because of the good financial standing of MLA, the support of the board, and an understanding of our membership and how these financial burdens impact individuals. The response to this program was overwhelmingly positive.
I appreciate the ability to use my skills in analyzing financial data through spreadsheets to tell our story in a meaningful way to those who may not have such a passion for, or understanding of spreadsheets and formulas. Beyond all that I have delineated, I have a curiosity that keeps me humble in admitting that I do not know everything, and that offers me opportunities to continue to learn and grow. As a Librarian II at Wayne State University, I am constantly seeking new opportunities to engage and support the next generation of library workers, and especially those who have similar stories and backgrounds to my own. I look forward to supporting REFORMA, and all our library professionals. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
Serena Vaquilar, MM, MLIS