How did you become interested in librarianship?
Growing up, my mom worked in an elementary school library and I loved when she would bring home books that she found while shelving. I also spent a lot of time in public libraries after school and on the weekends. Later on, when I started working with adults with disabilities, we often had activities at both public and academic libraries. I reminded me again about the importance of these spaces and after talking with some amazing librarians, I realized it wasn’t a magical place; it was the work of people who create them. I decided to return to school to get my MLIS, and it turned out to be one of the best risks I chose to take. Another was asking my wife out on our first date!
Describe the first time you worked in a library.
When I was in middle school, I volunteered with the Summer Reading Program at a local library. I designed flyers, read with children, and stamped reading passports. It was the first time I really got to share my love of reading with other people since it had always been a solo activity.
I am on the LAUC-B Diversity Committee and the Executive Committee as coordinator for the Mentor Program. I enjoy both roles because I get to meet new staff, and learn from people who have been doing hard work on our campus for years.
What do you like best about being a UC librarian?
It energizes me to learn things everyday! As a public-facing librarian, I get to listen and exchange questions that bridge past and future conversations. I like hearing stories, learning about history and current research. Being in a UC also links me with family history as my father was a first-generation graduate from Berkeley in the Engineering Department.
Describe a recent or current project on which you are working.
Last summer I was invited to co-curate a gallery exhibit in Doe Library called “We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We’re in the Public Record!” It was inspired by a presentation from Jesse Silva (UCB) and Kelly Smith (UCSD). I enjoyed working with our cross-division team and collaborating with the GLBT Historical Society and San Francisco Public LIbrary LGBTQIA Archives. We also hosted a public event with local scholars and artists, and received a lot of positive feedback from campus and community.
Describe your recent professional work outside of work, such as association work, writing, research, or anything else.
I joined my first ACRL committee this year as the Secretary of Instruction to Diverse Populations (2018-19). I’m also a member of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), the GLBT Round Table, and a Spectrum Scholar (2014-15).
What would you like the next big thing in libraries to be?
Complete this statement: "One surprising fact about me is...”
My home library has no organizational scheme, but give me a minute, and I’ll find it! And probably not surprising, I have a real problem with thrift stores and tsundoku, collecting piles of unread books….
Can you recommend a book or movie or tell us your favorite book or movie and why?
How about a quote that inspired me? I started on the path towards writing and librarianship after reading Audre Lorde for the first time in the Oakland-published 2003 Underground Railroad calendar: “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”