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Why SLIS: I have chosen to devote my professional energy of a lifetime of service to the cause of Library Science out of a profound love for my community, especially at the local level. The public should have free and easy access not only to information, but also to instruction and assistance to access and dissect that information. I seek a lifetime of service not only as a librarian but also as an advocate and activist militating for the fullest access possible.
My second passion is health care, and I hope to make my principle professional mark in the area of making health care information and personal data accessible at the library. I volunteered at the XXXX Public Library in East Hartford, CT from Oct 2005 through June 2006. This was my first 'work experience' and it transformed me in an instant from being one of the most assiduous of library users as a child to being a library professional. Seven years later I returned as a volunteer and I currently serve at the New Haven Public Library, helping seniors, in particular, and teaching classes in computer information. I also help with social events such as the annual gala and youth events (storytime, projects, homework tutor).
I earned my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Spanish in May 2013. An Honors Program Scholar, I spent my last two undergraduate years on a full scholarship and benefitted from more advanced classes. I am confident that my formal education has provided me with a solid foundation to become an exceptional library science professional.
Strengths: XXXX is my first choice for graduate study for a variety of reasons foremost of which is your mission “on the front lines of social justice.” I am bilingual (Spanish & English) precisely because of the fact that I realized early on that for social activism and change in America, Spanish was the language to learn. I love speaking Spanish and I even dream in the language.
The other principal strength that I want to bring to Simmons is my expertise in information and operations in the health care setting. I have been at Manchester Memorial Hospital and the John XXXX Cancer Center now for more than 4 years, the first two years as a volunteer and the last two years as both a full time employee and a volunteer as well. Most of my volunteer work has been administrative, restock, filing, organizing—but I also work directly with the public. The semester before graduating college my supervisors at the hospital inquired about what I was planning to do and insisted that I apply to become a nutrition assistant since 2 of them were leaving.
Thus, from June of 2013 until today, I have been serving as a Clinical Nutrition Assistant at XXXX Hospital & XXXX Hospital, providing administrative support as a liaison for physicians, dietitians & food service staff. Most of what I do is transcribe patient orders and field inquiries that come into our call center in accordance to guidelines prescribed by physicians on health touch software. I use Meditech to verify patient diet orders, admissions, transfers, discharges, supplements & tube feeding orders. I also visit with patients face to face, those who can't use, reach, or hear on the phone, etc. I am also an advocate for full access for everyone with any kind of disability.
Most Exciting Challenges: For me the most exciting challenge in our field is public access. In my case, I plan to develop a research focus and activist agenda in the area of public access to health care information. Since libraries are outside healthcare settings this provides easy access in a familiar setting. Imagine, for example, being a homeless person looking for a job, sleeping in a shelter at night and spending the day at the library seeking employment. Free access to one’s health records in this situation could indeed be a life or death issue.
On a brick and mortar level, I have a special passion for questions of wheelchair access and assistance for wheel chair bound patrons, inspired by my volunteer work at XXXX Health & Rehabilitation in East Hartford, CT. I helped with wheelchair transport for the residents to attend social events within the building or to go to other places such as restaurants etc. I assisted in planning and setting up social events. Having mass amounts of information readily available on a computer is of little use to the patron who is unable to access and dissect that information. I am an advocate for full access on multiple fronts: bi-cultural, bilingual backgrounds, gender—equal rights of access for all. I want to spend the rest of my life assisting and guiding patrons with projects, tasks, & research. I am a huge advocate for community engagement and learning in order for people to become better informed about those topics that are vital to their well being and intellectual engagement.
Multiculturalism is of fundamental importance to my own vision of the challenges that we face as library professionals. As an E-Board member of the Spanish Club for 3 years and also a member of the Japanese American Cultural Club in college, I have become increasingly immersed in the celebration of diversity and I see the library and the ideal focal point of that appreciation experience. I have a keen interest in minorities and identity. My capstone thesis dealing with Superman as an icon focused on the duality of Superman & Clark Kent as a function of the creators’ Jewish heritage & upbringing in America. I have been enthralled with Japanese culture since I was a child and visiting Japan has very much fed my intrigue, staying with wonderful friends who showed me all around and translated everything for me.
At the center of my world stands community engagement, technology planning, and information/knowledge management.
I thank you for considering my application.