REFORMA LA Member Spotlight: Sabrina Ponce

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Name: Sabrina Ponce

Title: Part-time Librarian (Redondo Beach Public Library) & Page Shelver (Peninsula Center Library)

MLIS program: University of California Los Angeles

Primary service roles: I received my MLIS in June and am just starting to become an active member with REFORMA LA by joining the Spanish Language Book Fair planning committee.  

How does your work align with service to Latinos and Spanish-speaking communities?: I interned with the Young Readers Department at Peninsula Center Library from April-June of this year and as part of my internship I planned and performed a storytime. Many caregivers who take children to storytimes at Peninsula Center are primarily Spanish-speaking and are teaching the children Spanish, so I made my storytime bilingual. I also initiated a passive program for staff in which participating staff members wear buttons to indicate other languages they can speak. I was inspired to do this because I noticed that patrons whom I knew spoke Spanish struggled to ask for assistance in English because they didn't know that someone was available to help them in Spanish.   

Gratifying aspects of your work: Some of the patrons who attended my storytime at Peninsula Center have shared with me that they enjoyed it and that they hope the library will continue to incorporate Spanish songs in their storytimes. It's gratifying to know that several patrons not only benefited from a library program, but also feel comfortable enough to voice their needs in their primary language. I will continue to work to create this positive environment for patrons at both Peninsula Center Library and Redondo Beach Public Library.    

Some words of advice to other librarians and/or present and future MLIS students: Being a recent MLIS student myself, I urge current and future students to get involved with professional organizations as early as they can. Also, apply for the jobs you want as much and as early as you can - the hiring process may take longer than you think and you may actually be qualified for a position you feel you don't have enough experience for. It's never a bad thing to put yourself out there! 

Previous programs that I have done: Senior Social Hour, bilingual storytime.