ALSC Member Profile

Meet Georgina Rivas-Martinez – ALSC’s 2019 Emerging Leader

In November, ALSC selected Georgina Rivas-Martinez of the South Huntington Public Library, in South Huntington, NY, as its representative in the 2019 Emerging Leader program. Here is your chance to learn a bit more about Georgina through a series of questions.

Georgina Rivas-MartinezWhat made you decide to get involved with children’s librarianship?

Hi everyone, I’m Georgina and I live on Long Island, NY,  and come from a Latinx background! I’ve been a librarian since 2017, and love being able to serve the public. I decided to get into children’s librarianship after I graduated with a bachelor’s in education. I felt that in a library setting I could be more creative with the children without having to worry about lesson plans and observations. I truly enjoy working with all my little munchkins and being able to help their parents choose books for them.

What is your favorite thing about your current job?

My favorite thing about my current job is the fact that I can be super creative with the programs I create for the kids. I love the community and have the great opportunity to work with an array of diverse library users. I also love being able to pull in the Latinx community and show them that the library is an awesome place. My intention is to show families in the district that not only do we provide services for them (adults) but also to their children. The bond that I have begun, and will continue, to created with families is something that is invaluable to me and I love every minute of it.

What made you apply for the Emerging Leader program?

After joining ALA a few years ago, I had heard some buzz around the EL program and how competitive it was but I never really looked far into it. Then, in this past year I was part of the ALSC Mentoring program and when I mentioned EL to my mentor, Rachel Fryd, she was so supportive and told me to just go for it! I applied to this program because I want to be a role model for minority librarians. I knew with this platform I would be able to reach out to connect with others in my field and hope to motivate them to work towards whatever goals they have for their careers.

How did you feel when you were selected as ALSC’s Emerging Leader?

When I received the email I was in a total SHOCK! Going into it, I knew that the program is competitive and sponsorship is limited so I wasn’t expecting to be accepted. However, once it all sank in, I was so happy and honored to have been chosen by the committee. I truly appreciate this opportunity and can’t wait to meet everyone. Midwinter will be my first ALA conference as well, and I’m looking forward to befriending my colleagues, and attending some amazing presentations!

Are you excited about attending the Midwinter day-long Emerging Leader session?

I’m super excited about the day-long EL session. I know it will be a wonderful experience to meet the entire class, as well as our specific groups! This session will be a leadership training led current leaders, and being able to network/ work alongside of them is something truly special.

What do you hope to learn from the Emerging Leader experience?

Through my Emerging Leaders experience I hope to work with librarians from all over the country, and be able to gather the tools to really make a difference in libraries. I think that this is the perfect platform to start a movement and be an advocate for this beautiful profession. My hope is to not only impact current librarians, but to inspire anyone looking to breakout into the field.

The EL program culminates with a poster session at the ALA Annual Conference.  Does this idea excite you, make you nervous, invigorate you, thrill you, motivate you, something else, … or have you not thought about it at all yet?

I’m totally looking forward to this poster session and being able to showcase all our findings through this journey. I’m very excited that my group will be working with the International Relations Round Table on an International Peer Mentoring Project. It will be fun discussing our posters with other librarians, library directors and anyone who stops by!

Who is your favorite Disney Princess?

My favorite Disney Princess is Mulan! I love her because back when I was a kid she appeared to be different from all of the other princesses. I saw this as Disney  introducing more diversity into their line up and that really appealed to me. Also, the fact that she was a warrior princess, who was fighting her own battles, was mind blowing.

If you could have coffee with any influential figure who would it be? 

I would love to have coffee with Andrew Carnegie. To sit down and be able to discuss his vision of libraries, how he valued them and find out how he feels about all the changes in this field would be a real conversation. His love of these entities is no secret due to all of his generous donations to fund public libraries, so I feel like he’d be really great to talk to.

What book would you jump into and experience for a day ?

If I could jump into a book and experience it for a day, it would be The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. It takes place in Narnia, which seems like a such a magical place and I would love to hang out with AsIan!

Thanks, so much Georgina!

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