2010 Eureka! Leadership Institute: Kirby McCurtis
I am a Youth Services Librarian in the Children's Room at San Diego Public's Central Library. In this position I wear many hats, because Central Library is a neighborhood "branch" for the downtown residents of San Diego, as well as the main resource and support hub for the 35 branches in our system. I plan programs for the Children's Room at the Central Library, outreach to local organizations and schools, and serve as the Children's Reference Librarian at Central Library. In addition, I am in charge of Collection Development for Juvenile and Young Adult fiction materials system wide, coordinate distribution of materials and resources to the Youth Services Librarians in branches, and help plan Summer Reading for San Diego Public Library.
Previously, I worked as a Youth Services Librarian for San Diego County Library, as an archivist at DreamWorks, and as a bibliographer with the Ethnomusicology Archive at U.C.L.A.
My interest in becoming a Librarian began when I was a Sociology undergrad at U.C. Santa Cruz. I was spending a lot of time in libraries doing original research and writing lengthy papers, and an advisor told me I could continue that work as an Academic Librarian. It sounded promising, but I chose to take a year off and serve with AmeriCorps before making any decisions. I worked as a Literacy Specialist in an inner city school in St. Louis, Missouri where I quickly realized two things: literacy is powerful and I did not want to become a professional teacher. I applied to library school and graduated from U.C.L.A. (Go Bruins!) in 2008.
I am particularly interested in early literacy initiatives and outreach. I am a 2010 ALA Emerging Leader and my participation in this program has recently lead me to be appointed to a PLA committee and a New Member Round Table committee.
I am excited to attend the Eureka! Leadership Institute because I have heard great things about the experience and I want to learn more about being an effective leader even when you are not in charge. In my personal life I spend my time reading, running, practicing yoga, exploring vegan and vegetarian cuisine, and traveling.