Welcome Our ACL Helfeld Scholars
Five new Helfeld Scholars were welcomed at our September ACL Meeting. These new members will be participating in many ACL activities, including writing book reviews for BayViews. See below for the introductions they wrote about themselves:
Shani Boyd: Shani is just starting her journey in librarianship. With an undergraduate degree in International Affairs and Commerce and an MLIS from San Jose State, Shani approaches youth services public librarianship through the lens of cultural awareness. A lifelong reader, Shani got her start in libraries as a teen volunteer at her local library’s Teen Advisory Group. She later worked as a library assistant in teen and youth services, also spending some time in technical services.
As a children’s librarian at Oakland Public Library, Shani enjoys purchasing books for her branch and introducing the community to popular plots and tropes from new perspectives. Shani is a crafter at heart and can almost always be found cutting materials for take-home crafts or learning some new features on Canva. Shani is excited to begin her journey as a Helfeld Fellow!
Jennifer Agarwal: My name is Jennifer Agarwal and I am a Library Aide at Oakland Public Library. Prior to joining OPL, I served as Senior Library Assistant in the Youth Services Department at Glen Ridge Public Library, a BCCLS-consortium library in New Jersey. My role involved basic circulation; readers’ advisory; collection development; special programs; rotating displays; TAB; and Summer Reading. Before entering the world of libraries, I taught in high school, middle school, and 4th grade classrooms. As Research Assistant at BW Associates, an educational policy firm in Berkeley, I delved into issues such as core standards, school-to-work initiatives, charter schools, and bilingual education. I earned a BA and secondary teacher credential from Colorado College in Romance Languages in 1987 and an MS in Linguistics/Sociolinguistics from Georgetown in 1990. I am pursuing my MLIS degree from SJSU, with the hope of serving as a Children’s/Teen Librarian in the future!
Greta Marti (she/her): I was born and raised in San Francisco where I am lucky to still reside. Growing up, my family had a bookstore and t-shirt shop in the Haight Ashbury neighborhood, where my love of books and service began. Since January of 2021, I’ve worked a variety of roles in libraries down the peninsula and in the north bay. I started my current role as a Youth Services Librarian with Marin County Free Library in March. I also have two degrees in theatre and experience as an accessible acting teacher, teaching acting to people with disabilities. This work greatly informs my work as a librarian, as I am invigorated by a personal mission of increasing the accessibility of information, materials, and programs for people with all kinds of abilities. I am honored to be a Dorothy Helfeld Fellow and look forward to learning and building new professional relationships. Thank you for having me!
Karen Quest: Showcasing in 2011 at ACL’s Performer’s Showcase led to performing at over 100 library shows in California and Nevada. I discovered that the Children’s and Youth Services Librarians were a tribe I didn’t know I had. Inspired, I enrolled in the MLIS program at SJSU. I had not followed a straight line in my undergrad 13-year “plan” and changed majors six times to graduate from CSUN with a B.A. in Theatre Arts in 1985.
At the end of the 2022 Spring semester Penny Peck (my instructor for INFO 263 Materials for Children) encouraged me to apply for the Dorothy Helfeld Fellowship. Around the same time, I completed training and became an official Fairyland storyteller in May of 2022. It was a crazy summer with two MLIS classes, three library shows and three county fairs— in Oregon, Washington and California.
I am the Chief Operating Cowgirl of Giddyup Productions, a small business I founded in 1998 that specializes in family entertainment, whose motto is “We’re In The Happiness Business.” I am looking forward to becoming a bona fide newly-minted librarian in December 2022.
Megan Wolf: Megan Wolf is an educator who taught 5th grade for almost a decade, and is now pursuing a masters in library science. She is passionate about diverse books, Star Trek, fat liberation, and orange cats. She loves reading middle grade novels and writes book lists for Feminist Books for Kids.