Loida Garcia-Febo: Librarian

I am a library and information professional who is passionate about working with diverse communities. I believe that libraries and librarians have the power to save and enrich lives. My passion to make an impact on society stems from my personal desire to save lives.

During my graduate studies at the University of Puerto Rico, I was introduced to the power that libraries have on communities. I was fortunate to work as an elementary school librarian providing library instruction, homework help, storytelling and programs, and training for the faculty.

I later began working at the Centro de Informacion (PRATP) of the Unidad de Servicios Bibliotecarios para Personas con Impedimentos (SBPI) [Library Services for Persons with Disabilities’ Assistive Technology Information Center]. While at PRATP, I was responsible for acquiring and cataloguing printed materials and objects that served persons with disabilities. Months after I started my work, the chief went on maternity leave and in her absence I became the acting chief. In this capacity, I was responsible for the annual reports, staff evaluations, and the overall management of the service. Seeking to expand my career, I moved to a job serving Latinos and Spanish speakers at Queens Library in New York. In addition to creating programs and services for this large segment of the Queens community, I also developed health-related programs and services for the homeless, incarcerated, multilingual populations, older adults, and job seekers.   

I have been fortunate to have consulted for libraries throughout my entire career. During the past years, I’ve been focusing, full-time, into expanding my consulting to include not-for-profit organizations. It has been a humbling experience to provide advice, strategize ways to provide access to information, creation of information resources, reference, and also work one-on-one in communities helping homeless populations, multilingual diverse populations, people that have lost houses and belongings due to natural phenomenon, and with victims of different types of abuse. That is where my main passion is. I love to work with all librarians, and my heart is with library services to communities served by academic, public, school and special libraries.

I have learned that access to information can save and enrich lives. Librarians from different fields are instrumental to help people understand how to find, analyze and use information to improve their finances, monitor their health, find jobs, and obtain basic services such as housing, school and medical care. Empowering communities is a noble cause that I, as a librarian, embrace with all my being. I love the work I do in different arenas, advocating for libraries at the United Nations, doing grassroots advocacy, and also working through the night to help homeless or abused women. I love being a librarian. Together, we can bring change!