How did you become interested in librarianship?
I had long been interested in teaching Latin American Studies (and completed most of a dissertation in Latin American History) and had worked in a couple of capacities as an archivist, but it was really when I was working at an art museum and helping students with their research that I realized I could bring together many of my skills and interests as an academic librarian.
Describe the first time you worked in a library.
Another student in my PhD program at Emory University had worked as a manuscript collection processor at the Emory Manuscript and Rare Books Library and recruited me with promises on working on African American collections. I ended working almost exclusively on two prominent poetry collections: those of Peter Fallon and his Gallery Press and Ted Hughes. My colleague joked that I was "the closer" because I finished processing collections that others had started and been unable to complete.
I am the vice chair/chair-elect of our Committee on Appointments, Assignments and Reassignments, which serves an advisory role in academic recruitments and reassignments at UCSB.
What do you like best about being a UC librarian?
I love my fellow Calafia members... Their messages and phone calls before I even started at UCSB gave me a real sense of community and welcome.
Describe a recent or current project on which you are working.
During my first year at UCSB, I was fortunate to be part of our Library Diversity Committee (now the Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion). We spent much of that year working on a set of recommendations that focus especially on recruitment and retention of faculty and staff. Subsequently, we have presented it to department heads and administrators at UCSB library as well as to the entire staff.
We still have a lot of work to do in terms of seeing our recommendations enacted, so that is part of CEDI's current work.
Describe your recent professional work outside of work, such as association work, writing, research, or anything else.
I am very active in SALALM, the professional organization for Latin Americanist librarians, particularly on our Digital Primary Resources Subcommittee and our Scholarship Committee, and am the past chair of the Reference and Instruction Services Subcommittee. I am also co-chair of our regional organization, Calafia, which doubles as a CKG.
With some fellow SALALM members, I am also on the advisory board of LARRP, a CRL-hosted consortium of research libraries that seeks to increase free and open access to information in support of learning and scholarship in Latin American Studies through initiatives such as open access digitization projects.
What would you like the next big thing in libraries to be?
I would like to see strategic collaboration--not as a way of saving money or consolidating services, but to extend our collections coverage, buying power (or power to push open access), know-how, and reach.
Complete this statement: "One surprising fact about me is...”
I don't like to own books.
Can you recommend a book or movie or tell us your favorite book or movie and why?
I tend to like novels that teach me about a time or place in the past (I am a historian) or make me think about social or moral questions. Examples would be Cabrera Infante's Tres tristes tigres, Puig's Boquitas Pintadas, Petry's The Narrows, Pamuk's My Name is Red, Veríssimo's O tempo e o vento, and everything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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