In between settling into her new job and getting ready to launch the summer reading club for teens at on June 20, Moorpark Patch had the good fortune of chatting with new teen librarian Gina Hernandez.
The San Bernardino native just moved to Moorpark to be closer to work and to get to know the community she's serving better. Hernandez started working towards a Masters in Library Information and Science from San Jose State University, one year after completing college.
Read on for our chat with this 25-year-old charmer and over-achiever.
Moorpark Patch: So tell us, what exactly does a teen librarian at Moorpark City Library do?
Gina Hernandez: The teen librarian is in charge of ordering all the teen materials and coordinating teen programs throughout the year, among others. In some libraries, they call that person a young adult librarian, but it's the same thing.
MP: When did you know you wanted to become a librarian?
GH: I was a volunteer in the library as a teen and I had the chance to recover an entire section of the collection. When I was covering the books with plastic I would read the short descriptions and I realized that I loved books and that I loved the library. After a short time working in retail, I applied for my first paid library job and started the MLIS program at San Jose State.
MP: Was there a specific event, book or person that influenced your career choice?
GH: My biggest influence was actually my speech coach in high school he told me that if I found a book the I could identify with, then I could experience the
world through someone else's eyes. This is what I like to tell the teens I
work with now.
MP: What do you think are the "hot reads" this summer?
GH: Where do I begin? There are so many. There's Fated, part of The Soul Seekers Series by Alyson Noel. There's Maze Runner by James Dashner. Then there's City of Bones, City of Ashes and the rest of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.
Trilogies and all these serial books are definitely high up on teens' reading lists this summer. It's been awhile but The Hunger Games trilogy and the Twilight series are sill flying off the shelves. All of our copies are still checked out.
MP: Lastly, what are your plans for the library's young patrons? What can they look forward to now that you're around?
GH: I want to involve more teens who don't normaly come to the library. I want to reach out to them and be a bridge between the library and the schools. I want to be able to fill the book needs of other schools and partner with them.
Lastly, I want to send the message across that the library is not just a place to check out books. It's a safe venue for hanging out with your friends and participating in a lot of free events, especially during the summer.