Ana Elisa de Campos Salles is Adult and Teen Librarian at the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Branch of the District of Columbia Public Library in Washington, DC. Anna Elisa has been an ACRL member since 2012, is a 2013 ALA Emerging Leader, and your ACRL member of the week for April 22, 2013.
1. Describe yourself in three words: Cultured, Independent, Strong.
2. What are you reading right now (or listening to on your mobile device)? I’m currently reading my book club’s selection, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. I’m addicted to podcasts! Especially from the BBC (World Service and Radio 4). So I always have at least two or three loaded on my iPod, in addition to a very eclectic mix of music.
3. Describe ACRL in three words: Excellent, Welcoming Resource!
4. What do you value about ACRL? Just how welcoming the group has been. A lot of people have reached out to me to offer mentorship, guidance, and now even to be featured here! I also really value their magazine: it’s full of interesting articles on topics that can be transferred to the public library setting. Seriously. Plus, I really like the tech notes, and the preservation notes sections. And I love the covers!!!
5. What do you, as a public librarian, contribute to your campus? A place where people can come for answers, whether it’s to help them improve themselves or they are looking for information on how to do something more practical. Whatever they’re looking for, I help them find it. My branch is located in a neighborhood with a very high percentage of recent immigrants. They need assistance for themselves, to find jobs, continue their education, learn about life in the U.S. in general, but also for their families. The neighborhood I serve is also very diverse demographically: we serve just about everyone, from toddlers to older patrons. With such a diverse community, I try to also accommodate them by offering a wide range or programs, from the more educational to the just plain fun. More than anything, they see me there every day, so I like to think I and the library give them a sense of dependability.
6. In your own words: I really enjoy being a public librarian. I love how every day — every patron — is different. It really keeps you on your toes, serving a diverse community and never knowing what the next patron will need from you. And you never know how much you help a patron — until months later, they come back to let you know they have moved on to complete a course, are now in college, or gotten that job they wanted. It’s incredibly fulfilling.
Editor’s Note: Are you an ACRL member? Would you like to be featured as ACRL Member of the Week? Nominate a colleague? Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.