Baker & Taylor and Kirkus Reviews is proud to support diversity and inclusion in libraries. We are excited to be partnering with Kirkus as we launch our new leadership campaign, Powering Libraries. Empowering Communities. Kirkus will be interviewing and featuring key Baker & Taylor customers to profile how our services and unique position as a true library advocate is helping to improve community outcomes.
The first customer spotlight profiles Michael Jimenez, County Librarian for San Bernardino County Library System who has tripled circulation despite devastating budget and staff cuts with the help of Baker and Taylor’s Customized Library Services.
Preview of article by Meghan Labrise, originally published on KirkusReviews.com :
Growing up in Southern California, Michael Jimenez went to the library just twice: once in elementary school class and once in high school, with his parents.
“It was an intimidating experience, I remember, as a kid,” Jimenez says of visiting the library with his parents, who are Salvadoran immigrants. “I didn’t know what to do. My parents didn’t speak very good English, so trying to translate with the
librarian there….” He pauses. “We didn’t go back.”
It wasn’t until college that he began to read with gusto. Two years of remedial English classes helped foster an abiding love of books, leading to a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in library and information science.
In 2007, he began his career at the San Bernardino County Library as a young adult librarian. Just 10 years later he was appointed to the system’s highest administrative position, County Librarian. “It’s amazing what a public library can do for a child,” he says. “If they start coming when they’re young, if they attend summer reading programs, if they learn to read for pleasure, that translates directly into success in school. Had I had that opportunity when I was younger, I would have really enjoyed it. My passion in this role is being able to share that with others.”