REFORMA LA Member Spotlight: Dora Ho

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Name: Dora Ho

Title: Young Adult Librarian/Program Specialist, Youth Services, Los Angeles Public Library

Primary service roles: I am the Young Adult Librarian/Program Specialist in Youth Services of the Los Angeles Public Library. My role is quite unique because I focus on system-wide programs that serve youth. I oversee the Student Zones (after-school homework centers), Student Smart Program (college preparation), program boxes (literally a program in a box that include instructions on how to implement the program, supplies, and resources/bibliography), and I also assist on many Youth Services initiatives.

How does your work align with service to Latinos and Spanish-speaking communities?: The Student Zones (after-school homework centers) serve students from ages 5 to 18 and many of the locations are in dominant Spanish-speaking neighborhoods.

Gratifying aspects of your work: My work involves working with all levels of librarians (branch managers, young adult librarians, children’s librarians), outside vendors, as well as other community partners. Training others is a major part of my job as well. I love to empower our Student Zones Helpers in assisting our youth with their homework assignments and provide librarians with the right resources and tools to perform their daily duty.

Some words of advice to other librarians and/or present and future MLIS students: For librarians, it is very important to build a network of support. Whether you are the one being mentored or mentoring someone, mentoring is needed at any stage of our career. Please try to find someone to mentor or get someone to mentor you! You will find the experience valuable and rewarding.

Previous programs that I have done: In my early career as the Young Adult Librarian at a local branch, I created many programs for my Teen Council/Teen Advisory Board. We had games such as Jeopardy, trivia baseball, cupcake decorating, soap making, T-shirt decorating, and making sock puppets and friendship bracelets. I have also presented programs on multicultural programming such as a K-Pop program. At many conferences, I’ve spoken on the topics of leadership development and how to get involved in ALA governance.