Marco Veyna-Reyes was recently announced the 2013 ALSC Spectrum Scholar. He is an MLIS candidate at the University of North Texas (UNT). I caught up with Marco to ask him a few questions about his path to children’s librarianship.
So you’re working full-time in a library right now?
Yes, my official title is the YPL/Children’s Services Assistant for the Mesquite Branch of the Las Vegas-Clark County (Nev.) Library District. The YPL stands for Young People’s Librarian. I’m also taking classes at the University of North Texas towards my MLIS.
How did you choose to get into children’s librarianship?
My interest in librarianship started in high school when I participated in the Latin Chamber of Commerce’s Career Day. I shadowed the Assistant Human Resources Director for the District and one of the things we did was go to the different library branches around the city. I got to meet some of the librarians. From that experience, I began to volunteer in the library. Eventually, I realized that this was the type of career I would enjoy.
I grew up in an English as a Second Language (ESL) household. There was no English spoken at our home. My dad really wanted us to find professional careers. He encouraged us to excel in school and even bought us an encyclopedia set in Spanish because he wanted us to be fully bilingual.
When I started volunteering at the library I was living in Las Vegas. I was volunteering at branch with a lot of ESL parents and I realized that this where I could help out. I really enjoyed that aspect of it, working with kids from under-represented communities. Librarianship was a perfect fit.
What are you most proud in your time at library school?
I’ve really been proud of the ability to attend. It’s also been helpful to be a full-time librarian assistant because I get to see a lot of the theory applied on a daily basis. There was a management class that I enjoyed as well because I’d really like to be a good Children’s Services Department Head in the future.
I’ve also enjoyed learning about the history of librarianship in the United States. My family is from Mexico and there isn’t a strong public library system there. So to learn about the place that the library has in the community is really interesting to me.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities at the library?
I’m the only full-time children’s employee at my rural branch, so I have to do a lot of multi-tasking! I cover the Customer Service Desk and Adult Services Desk, process most of the new children’s materials, put on story times, do weekly community outreach and schedule off-desk time. We also put on a Saturday movie matinee and put on two large family programs a month.
How did summer reading go this year?
We had a very successful summer! I’m the go-to person for summer reading at our library and I love it. My favorite part is having the kids recognize me from school visits and talking with the parents. I especially like working with the ESL parents, getting them to recognize the role of the library in their children’s development and reducing the summer slide.
Do you have a favorite children’s book?
I really like the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. I think it describes my relationship with my community and how I hope to give back to the people of Southern Nevada.
Thanks and good luck!