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Maria Aguilar: “Libraries offer so much more than books.”

Maria Aguilar

Maria Aguilar

Maria is a youth services and outreach librarian for the Cornelius Public Library. She answered the following questions about herself as part of our Library People series of profiles.

Why did you choose to work at the library?

My godmother introduced me to the working side of public libraries that entailed more than just going to get books. She taught computer classes in Spanish, where I helped her. I was then hired at the Hillsboro Public Library, Shute Park branch where I lead computer classes in Spanish with a focus on Word and Excel, and in general helped people on the computer.

I finally settled on working at the small Cornelius Public Library for the diversity that it offered within the tasks that could be accomplished within the day. Libraries offer so much more than just books and I learned that by getting involved and asking other staff what it is that they did and what they liked about it.

Are you surprised you ended up working for the library?

Yes. I never saw myself in libraries. As a teen, I spent a lot of time at libraries, and I enjoyed volunteering, but never did I think of it as a career.

What are some of your favorite things?

I enjoy camping and spending time with my family. Any opportunity that we get to go to the beach, we take advantage. I also love food! I welcome cookies, brownies, cake …

What would people be surprised to know about you?

I am an only child and I was 24 when I finally visited Disneyland for the first time.

What do you like best about your job?

Ensuring that there is enough bilingual (Spanish/English) material for the kids in our community, as well as bilingual information in whatever we send out in emails.

Thinking about patron access and how to reduce barriers for library access has become more important. I have been focusing on making sure that the juvenile collection is culturally appropriate and diverse in various aspects.

I work very hard to mirror our English language collection to that of the Spanish to help support those that are in dual language (Spanish/English) learning at the local elementary schools. I am grateful for the opportunity to find high-quality books originally in Spanish for patrons, finding books that kids can relate to, situations that are culturally relevant, and to represent my library well.