Conversation with John Ayala - Advice for Librarians
Advice for Librarians - Part of a conversation with John Ayala "El Padrino de REFORMA", retired Dean of Libraries from Fullerton College and life member of Orange County Chapter of REFORMA (CA). Video courtesy of Monica Lopez, REFORMA National Chapter Representative and OC Chapter member.
Tags: Librarian (Profession) Library (Industry) Latino (Ethnicity)
Added: 6 months ago
[scene opens with an older male librarian (white hair, moustache, glasses, blue shirt, black shorts) speaking directly to the camera]
JOHN: Well, as an administrator, I always told my new librarians "learn the job."
JOHN: Make sure you learn the job, and for library school students ... Uh, get everything you can out of your education, and when you apply for jobs, don't dismiss any job.
[he waves his hand]
JOHN: Because that might be the job that you like. And the other thing is ... if you wanna be a public librarian, and you can't get a public librarian's job, then apply at an academic library. Or apply part time someplace, if you can't get any full time, so you get that experience.
JOHN: And, by applying to get these part time positions, you're networking ... and then, if you're a new librarian, get involved with your professional organizations and network.
JOHN: Because that'll open up avenues of other employments, so you can move up ... or you can move side to side, and get other positions.
JOHN: So, that's my advice, y'know ... Network, get to know people. Uh, join your professional organizations. Uh, don't get deeply involved with a professional organization right away. Wait 'til you've been at work for a year, and then start doing--
JOHN: And then become deeply involved with, y'know, committees and ... but the first dynamic is to learn your job, and learn it well, and then do it well.
John Ayala's library career began as a bookmobile driver for the Long Beach Public Library in 1963. He eventually left the library to serve in the Air Force in Vietnam for two years before returning back to his driver position. In 1971 he went on to complete his Masters of Library Science at the Immaculate Heart College and soon found work as an outreach librarian for the Los Angeles County Library after graduate school. He left that position to become Director of the Library of the Pacific Coast Campus at Long Beach City College, working in that placement for 18 years before coming to Fullerton College in 1990.
For 16 years, Ayala served as Dean of the Library and Learning Resource Center at Fullerton College. During this time, he pitched the original proposal to build a new library on campus in 1992, and contributed to its architecture and look by suggesting a more Spanish Colonial design. Ayala has been an advocate for bilingual service in the community and has authored and co-authored publications that support special library services for Latinos. For his accomplishments and community service, he has won numerous awards.
Ayala feels really proud to have co-founded the non-profit organization, REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Spanish Speakers). He retired as Dean of the Library on February 16, 2006, but still visits the campus and its library from time to time.
Date of Birth:
August 23, 1943
Dates at Fullerton College:
1970: BA Modern History - CSULB
1971: MLS (Master of Library Science) - Immaculate Heart College
1982: MPA (Master in Public Administration) - CSULB
1963-1970: Long Beach Public Library - Bookmobile Driver
1966-1968: Airman First Class, Aerial Port Squadron, Military Airlift Command, USAF
1971-1972: Los Angeles County Library, Bilingual Reference & Outreach Librarian
1972-1990: Director of Pacific Coast Campus Library, Long Beach City College
1990-2006: Dean of Library & Learning Resource Center, Study Abroad Administrator, Fullerton College
2006-2007: Interim Director of Library/Learning Resources, Compton College
1971: Founding member of REFORMA
1974-1976: President, REFORMA
1976: Nominated and ran for President, CLA (California Library Association)
1976-1990: Member of Faculty Senate, Long Beach City College
1985-1987: President, Faculty Senate, Long Beach City College
1980-1987: Chairman, Latino Faculty/Staff Assn., Long Beach City College
1992-2000: Chairman, NOCCCD (North Orange County Community College District) Latino Faculty/Staff Assn.
1971-present: ALA (American Library Assn.) member
1972: "Special Issue on Chicano Library Service." California Librarian Magazine. (Considered a monograph)
1998: "Library Services to Latinos." Latino Library Service in Community Colleges. Salvador Guerena, ed. (monograph)
2012: Co-editor with Salvador Guerena. Pathways to Progress: Issues & Advances in Latino Librarianship.
Chapter author: "Historical Perspectives on the Recruitment of Latinos to Library Service: The Committee to Recruit Mexican American Librarians - A Legacy for Latino Leadership"