Cypress Park Branch
Los Angeles, CA
Patrons Your Library Serves:
Alicia M. Rodriguez
What was your first library job?
My first library job was at the Santa Monica Public Library in CA. I began working as a Library Page. I was in charge of re-shelving books and checking in and out library material. I also managed the switchboard. From there, I moved up and became a staff assistant. I did switchboard and catalog assistance and I helped retrieve library material for patrons. I then went on to library school and became a Librarian. I was hired by the Los Angeles Public Library and became the children’s librarian for the Cypress Park Branch, a predominately Latino neighborhood.
Why are you proud to be a librarian?
I’m very passionate about the work I do. I do my best and I truly enjoy doing story time for the children and modeling for the parents so they can share stories with their children. I’m proud when I go to career day and I’m more popular than the firefighter. It’s a great feeling when the children know exactly who you are in their community. And that you are a great resource for their parents and other community members, such as teachers, health clinics, community centers and recreation centers.
How do you stay inspired?
By belonging to other organizations and learning from members who are passionate about the work we do. I am part of REFORMA LA, a national organization that serves Latinos and the Spanish speaking community. I learn from my peers and it’s great to share our ideas. I also take courses and workshops to enhance my skill set and it is always great to learn new ideas and new programs or activities to bring to my library.
What do you do for fun? What’s one thing people wouldn’t guess about you?
That I enjoy singing! And I love karaoke.
Describe your best day at the library. What made it memorable?
When I finished my story time and returned a few minutes later to our children’s area, I saw the children setting up books the way I do and one child sitting and sharing a book, holding it out to a few other children and telling them she was going to read a story like Ms. Alicia. That will always stay with me because that moment I knew I was making an impact and they were modeling story time and sharing books with their peers. I may not impact every single child, but the ones I do is what keeps me going.
What are your favorite Demco products? (Oldies but goodies and newbies welcome.)
The incentives. I love having items to provide for the parents at any of our books fairs, education fairs, etc. So I purchase items out of my own pocket just to have for the parents and children. I’ve bought lots of bookmarks and I bought lots of Dr. Seuss™ items.
If the sky were the limit, what would you do at your library?
I would have better furniture for our children’s area. I would have a salt water aquarium. A room full of art supplies and incentives. Kid friendly computers. A soundproof room for teens so that teens can have music playing (all under supervision of YA librarian) the CD player would be at the reference desk and the teens can choose 5 CDs for the day that will play repeatedly. Then we can have a separate room where we can have DJ equipment for a DJ 101 program for kids/teens like the library in Las Vegas! I’d also love to have a stage so that I could begin a theater program for the kids.
How do you envision your library in 2025?
Better use of space for technology. I see more programming using STEAM for the children and their parents. I see libraries really going out into the community and letting them know we are here to provide them with the information they require.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for your fellow librarians?
Leave your personal issues behind when you are doing your programs. Go in with a positive attitude. Know your community, its needs, and make sure they know you! Outreach! Outreach! Outreach! Market our libraries! Let people know we are more than just books!