2011 Eureka! Fellow Chris Brown
I never thought I would be a librarian. Ironically, as a child I was hardly taken to the library, except for school reports. You know the kids you see once a year for California mission and state reports? That was me! Then, by chance, I worked in a bookstore in high school, became obsessed with books, and went on to major in literature. As a child I had no idea books could be such a thrill, so awesomely trashy, and such eye-openers. I was lucky enough to end up as a heavy user of the library in high school and college, which became a very positive place for me. I could find whatever I needed (thank you Chicago Public Library ILL). Because of that experience intellectual freedom, namely the access to resources that allow us to further our development, has become very important to me.
Currently, I work for the Contra Costa County Library at the Concord Library, which serves a diverse city of over 120,000 persons. I am primarily responsible for the development and maintenance of our adult materials and programs, such as our popular tax help, small claims court advisor, foreclosure workshops, and lawyers in the library. I have served on a number of committees, such as collection development, our LINK+ task team, and am a history and travel planner for 26 community libraries. Last August when I earned my MLIS from San Jose State University I was appointed as project manager to launch our virtual museum pass consortium, Discover & Go, a BALIS grant funded project. I have really enjoyed advocating for the library as a valuable and worthwhile museum partner, and developing relationships within the museums. I love to serve a team, and see the group move toward our goals, reach, and exceed them. I have been privileged to work with people at Contra Costa County whom really care about each other, and I have learned to place a premium on whom I work with.
I entered the library field in 2007 as a Library Aide and intern, and then was hired by the University of California, Berkeley to work on the Google Digitization Project. At that point I started library school at San Jose State University. I then moved to the Kensington Library in Contra Costa County, and worked in teen services. Last year I was a poster presenter at CLA, and am a member of ALA, CLA, and PLA. For the past two years I have been a guest speaker at Diablo Valley College’s course on Access to Library Materials. I was recently invited to join our local Rotary. From Eureka! I plan to develop a clearer picture of what strong leadership involves, and the strategy to be that leader. When I can find the time I try to hike, go to the gym, and watch good television. Lately, I am obsessed with Louis C.K.’s show, Louie. I will always find time for a good cocktail.