Beatriz served on REFORMA’s 2009 Mora Award Committee and is the 2010 committee chair and is doing an outstanding job. She took some time to answer questions for us.
Tell us about your path to librarianship and work in youth services.
It was a long and winding road! I worked in newspaper publishing, children’s book publishing and independent bookselling before hitting on the idea of going back to school to become a librarian. Now that I’m a librarian, I wish I had come up with the idea 20 years ago but ultimately, the path I took ended up fully informing my library career. As for focusing on youth services, I’ve always had an affinity for children’s and YA literature, and in general, I’m kid-oriented at heart. When asked my age, I always have to think a moment how old I am because I definitely don’t feel that old!
What do you like most about your work?
There is nothing proprietary or competitive about librarianship. We enthusiastically share information with our patrons and with each other as professionals. It’s a collaborative and cooperative profession which I really appreciate!
How long have you been a member of REFORMA, and why did you become a member?
I became a member of REFORMA ten years ago while in library school and it was one of the best memberships for supplementing my library school education. I remember attending RNC2 (REFORMA’s second national conference) and coming away inspired and jazzed by all that I learned about serving Latino and Spanish-speaking patrons.
Why did you agree to be the Mora Award Committee Chair?
I really appreciate that the award promotes reading in all the languages we speak. I think it’s an important message to all families that their cultures and languages are valued and that they are celebrated and reinforced in books.
Can you tell us about your favorite Día memories?
My favorite Día memories include the first Dia I ever hosted when I worked at Multnomah County Library. In my little branch, we had a festive celebration, with Head Start families in attendance, live music, and a visit with Maisy. Last year at my Seattle Public Library branch, we hosted a visit with the local Univision news anchor who is a terrific advocate for libraries and reading with kids. He read aloud from Pat Mora’s Book Fiesta. And two years ago, Seattle Public Library hosted Pat Mora. She spoke to kids at an elementary school near my branch and it was great to see the kids come to the branch asking for her books.
What are you reading now?
There is so much to keep up with in children’s and YA lit! I usually am listening to two and reading two all at once. At this moment, I’m also catching up on the recent award winners. I’m listening to Going Bovine by Libba Bray, reading Truce by Jim Murphy, and just finished Back Home by Julia Keller and Bad News for Outlaws by Vaunda Michaeux Nelson.
What is your favorite example of Bookjoy (either as a child or adult?)
For me, my moments of Bookjoy happen when a child or teen visiting the library tells me about a book they liked and we get into a conversation about it. I love seeing when a young person is profoundly affected by a book he or she read and they just can’t tell me enough about it!