Oak Park Public Library
Rachel Boch, Elissa Burda, Mynda Camphouse, and Maren Davidson Skarstad, 2023 Showcase
Oak Park Public Library: This project highlights the excellent work Oak Park Public Library (OPPL) is doing in identifying and responding to community needs and library trends, as well as opportunities for the library to better serve its public. The project addresses the demographics and cultural climate of Oak Park, Illinois, the various community needs, interviews the students conducted with OPPL staff, OPPL’s use of language for marketing and community outreach, and overall effectiveness of the library’s approach in addressing community needs.
Rachel Boch is a Virginia resident taking courses through the SJSU iSchool while also working in her local library. With a background in anthropology, Rachel has always been fascinated with learning about people and plans to become a public librarian so she can continue building relationships with and strengthening local communities.
Elissa Burda lives in Las Vegas, NV and previously owned and operated a dog day care before selling the successful business to become a stay-at-home mom. Elissa received her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Oregon. Now that her kids are older, Elissa is looking forward to her next career as a public librarian. She is planning to finish her masters and graduate from the San Jose State University MLIS program in 2025.
Mynda Camphouse is the Youth Services Event Coordinator for Laramie County Library System in Cheyenne Wyoming and has been apart of LCLS for over 10 years. She is anticipating graduating from SJSU’s iSchool program in Fall 2023. The opportunity to work in children’s services and bring fun and educational events to the library is what made her decide to pursue a MLIS and continue to further her career in public libraries. Mynda is also a proud mom of four and in her little spare time enjoys running and traveling.
Maren Davidson Skarstad is an avid believer in the power of the library as a community resource. A lifetime library user, they have found everything from research help to cooking utensils at their local libraries; now they want to give back. A BA in cultural anthropology has shown Maren the importance of cultural competency and interdisciplinary learning in reaching across barriers to build and support communities. They hope to join the librarians who are already working to weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into the fabric of library operations.