I work as the Reference & Instruction Librarian at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Library, where I’m the liaison and selector for the School of Critical Studies. My personal scholarship centers on applying a critical lens to theory and practices surrounding librarianship. I have a particular interest in decolonizing library spaces. As a proud Latina in her 5th year as a professional librarian, I am increasingly aware of how racial inequities impact the profession’s ability to diversify. Because of this, my current research focuses on the intersection of critical race theory (CRT) and library and information science (LIS). These ideas have been most recently concertized in my co-authored publication We Here: Speaking our Truth.
You can find some amazing musings about identity, race, and LIS work from my fellow library workers of color on the Libraries: We Here Medium Channel.
Prior to joining the faculty at CalArts, I was a librarian at UCLA Library. As soon as I moved to Los Angeles from the Northeast in 2017 to accept that position, I immediately fell in love with sunny Southern California. When I’m not librarian-ing, I’m hanging out with my adorable 8-year-old dog Baxter and renovating my 1940s bungalow in the San Fernando Valley. I love taking things that are run down and making them sparkle again. This is the third renovation project my partner and I have taken on. Our first was in 2011 for our then landlords when we lived in Austin, TX, and our second project was a house we owned in Maine while I was a Science Librarian at the University of Maine.
I thrilled to be making my home in the Valley and am so excited to have transitioned from the large research university environment to the intimate and amazingly creative CalArts community. If you use social media, feel free to follow both me and my community of library workers of color on Twitter @msmendezbrady / @librarieswehere and on Instagram @mareeeeeeeeeesa / @librarieswehere
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