Erin Berman, a 2011 iSchool graduate, has been awarded the CLA Technology Professional Award for her work as innovations manager at the San José Public Library. She acts as the project manager for SJPL’s systemwide projects and is responsible for assessing current trends and finding ways to implement innovative projects. Most of her work focuses on technology and bridging access barriers utilizing STEM and maker programming. Projects she’s worked on include a Virtual Privacy Lab and a Maker[Space]ship. She’s also engaged with the local community to build a bridge library, which she describes as a “mini-branch” in a high-needs area and uses existing buildings.
“Information professionals have a huge range of ways they can continue to connect with customers through technology. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be an expert. Invite experts in from the community; learn with your customers,” Berman said. “Find ways to connect the technology you’re providing to the real world. This is especially important with adults. Find ways of showing how soldering can be used in practical everyday situations back at home. Look beyond just 3D printers. Have classes on digital citizenship, privacy online, open data, manufacturing, and more.”
Berman was a previous recipient of CLA’s Zoia Horn Intellectual Freedom Award and was named a “Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal in 2016.
MLIS student Julian Jaravata received the Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland. According the CLA website, the scholarship “encourages and supports ethnic minority students in the attainment of a graduate degree in library or information studies and encourages commitment to the improvement of library services to ethnic minority communities.”
Jaravata said he hopes to “uplift the assertion of the dignity and rights of immigrant communities through the public librarian profession.”
“I think libraries have been seen by many immigrant communities as an initial space to find their grounding,” he said. “It’s important to me because this is the advocacy that initially led me to thinking about becoming a librarian, and as a wider profession, I believe it’s important for us to think about the role we can play to defend immigrant communities and even contribute to the national efforts to create spaces of sanctuary.”
Jaravata was recently named a 2017-18 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar for his commitment to diversity. “Libraries are a cornerstone of the community, and so those who make up the community, including all marginalized and attacked communities in this current day, must be able to see themselves reflected within the public library.”
The 119th annual CLA Conference is scheduled for November 2 - 4, 2017, in Riverside, California. The iSchool will host a networking reception at the Marriott Riverside in the Regency Room from 5 -7 p.m. on November 3. Everyone is invited to attend the reception and also visit the iSchool’s booth in the exhibit hall.