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Kaleidoscope Program Diversity Scholars

Below are rosters of the 2021–2023 and 2020–2022 classes of Kaleidoscope Program Diversity Scholars:

2021–2023 Diversity Scholars

Karen Adjei
University of Maryland

Karen Adjei is an incoming MLIS student at the University of Maryland. In 2018, she received her BA in history with a focus in Asian American studies and social justice movements from Northwestern University. Her passion in information management was sparked by internships at the Field Museum and Northwestern University Libraries. After moving back home to the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, she continued to nurture her interests at various information and culture heritage institutions, including the Smithsonian, DC Public Library, and the Germantown Historical Society. She has also worked in the nonprofit sector, recently serving with Arlington Bridge Builders and Nonprofit Montgomery to provide direct assistance and inform systems change within communities. As a Kaleidoscope Diversity Scholar, Karen is excited about further developing the knowledge and skills needed to design and implement critical information management initiatives in order to more effectively meet community needs.


Lyndon J. Batiste
The University of Alabama

Lyndon Batiste is a student at The University of Alabama, pursuing a graduate degree at the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) with a concentration in social justice and inclusivity. He presently holds a BA and MA in religious studies from Morehouse College and Beulah Heights University, respectively. Lyndon has more than 11 years of experience working in public library and academic library settings (Clayton County (GA) Library System and Emory University). He currently serves as the library services desk manager at the Robert W. Woodruff Main Library at Emory University. Lyndon is very involved and serves the Emory library community as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and of the Code of Conduct Task Force Committee, as well as being a co-convener of the Circulation Community of Practice (CCOP) for Emory Libraries. Lyndon is extremely interested in the intersection of LIS and issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, advocacy, and public policy. He is also committed to increasing the presence of LIS programs and graduates among statistically underrepresented groups and at historically Black colleges and universities. In 2020, Lyndon was selected as an American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar and highlighted as an Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) member of the week. His career aspirations are to serve in an executive leadership role for an academic library and to continue to work to create social equity for historically marginalized communities. 


danielle luz belanger
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

danielle luz belanger is a memory worker compelled by the liberatory potential of community-based archives. She is currently interested in investigating how digital preservation technologies can be wielded to bridge the gap between established LIS standards of description and nontraditional forms of memory-making. danielle was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and is based on unceded xučyun Ohlone land (Oakland, CA). She received her BA from UC Berkeley in 2017, where she studied postcolonialism and visual culture. While completing her undergraduate thesis, which centered self-representational photographs of early Chinese American domestic life, she developed a foundational understanding of the archives’ role in constructing historical narratives. She has since aspired to empower historically marginalized communities by ensuring culturally diverse representation in archives. danielle is currently earning her MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a 2020–2021 Spectrum Scholar. She is an archivist at The Freedom Archives and a grassroots community organizer.


Isabel Carlin
The University of British Columbia

Isabel Carlin is a second-year archival and library/information studies student at The University of British Columbia (UBC). Informed by an undergraduate degree in Indigenous studies, Southeast Asian history, and postcolonial French literatures in Tkaronto (Toronto), their academic interests are at the intersection of anticolonial politics and Indigenous ways of knowing. Isabel’s recent work with the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and in the Archival Studies Program has focused on digital data sovereignty and ethics, materialism in electronic archival theory, and critical mining history. Their proposed thesis explores Indigenous political record-keeping in the northern Philippines through a theory of sociological haunting.


Genevia M. Chamblee-Smith
North Carolina Central University

Genevia M. Chamblee-Smith is pursuing a master’s degree in LIS with a concentration in archives at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Genevia holds a BS in psychology with a minor in human services from Clayton State University. Her interest in libraries began during an undergraduate senior seminar course in social psychology, creating a bibliography for African American students and coping strategies while attending college. Genevia has spent the last 10 years working in special and academic libraries in the Washington, DC, area, focusing on technical services. While at NCCU, she worked as a graduate assistant for Hacking into History: Discovering Racial Covenants in Durham County Property Deeds, a collaborative project with NCCU SLIS, DataWorks NC, and Durham County Registrar of Deeds. Hacking into History is a civic-engagement project that discusses the impact of racial segregation in Durham County, NC. Genevia helped facilitate virtual transcription events where local Durham residents reviewed and transcribed property deeds. Her passion for African American history and genealogy led her to take NCCU’s Community Archives course, which confirmed for her that archives are where she needs to be. She is devoted to helping more African Americans discover their hidden family stories. Her future career aspirations are to become an archivist working in an academic research library, and helping to process collections that tell a story about underrepresented communities. 


Cora Coady
University of Toronto

Cora Coady is a member of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. She is currently pursuing her master of information degree at the University of Toronto. Cora has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from McMaster University. She is also a certified vision rehabilitation therapist, an occupation she has been active in for the past 14 years. She is currently the Indigenous outreach and research intern at the University of Toronto Library. Her interests in academic librarianship include building inclusive and accessible services for communities that are traditionally underserved and whose concepts of knowledge and research diverge from dominant Western academia.


Sylvia Figueroa-Ortiz
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sylvia Figueroa-Ortiz is a second-year student in the MLIS program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She holds an MA in applied linguistics from The University of Edinburgh and a BA in modern languages and English linguistics and communication from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Sylvia is currently working as a graduate assistant in the Undergraduate Library at UIUC. Before coming to UIUC, she worked as a language teacher in Puerto Rico and Boston, where her passion for community building and outreach began. After her degree, she aspires to work as an academic librarian focusing on community engagement and access. Thanks to her assistantship, Sylvia is working on a research project that explores how Latine students perceive and use the academic library. She aims to develop ways to partner with cultural houses and student groups on campus to create culturally inclusive spaces in academic libraries. 


Aparna Ghosh
University of South Florida

Aparna Ghosh is a graduate student in the MLIS program at the University of South Florida and administrative supervisor in the Echols Collection on Southeast Asia at Cornell University Library. She graduated with a BA in sociology/anthropology from Denison University, where she had her first introduction to working in libraries as a student library assistant. She never left the library world, first working in Lewis Library, Loyola University Chicago, where she received a certificate of advanced study in women’s studies and gender studies, and then at Cornell University Library, where she had the opportunity to co-curate the 2020 exhibit “Story/Lines: Visual Narratives in Japanese Pop Culture,” about Japanese manga or graphic novels. Aparna is interested in assessment and research methods, metadata, digital humanities, and digital librarianship. Her goal is to work with metadata and inclusive description in an effort to decolonize and queer library collections. Aparna is a 2020–2021 ALA Spectrum Scholar and a Kress Foundation Scholarship recipient for the 2021 Summer Educational Institute for Digital Stewardship of Visual Information.


Sarah M. Henry
Wayne State University

Libraries have always provided Sarah Henry and her community with abundant knowledge and resources. As she continues her studies in library sciences, she wants to develop skills to help students do research in such fields as education, foreign language, and English as a second language (ESL). Her studies in Spanish and ESL at Michigan State University and Wayne State University have helped her grow and experience the world. She hopes to use these experiences to help students, faculty, and libraries in research libraries. She also hopes to grow in technical abilities, since new technologies are prominent in library resources. 


Alexis Herrera
University of Michigan

Alexis Herrera is a programmer and researcher. He is an incoming graduate student at the University of Michigan in information studies and science, technology, and society studies. As a graduate student, Alexis hopes to investigate how understandings of race, ethnicity, and difference structure how technology is designed, built, and deployed into the world. Currently, Alexis is helping collect and archive oral history interviews for a Mexican American community archive in Southern Arizona. He is also curating a virtual art exhibition on technology and surveillance at the US-Mexico border for the University of Michigan Museum of Art. Alexis previously had a career in the tech industry as a software engineer. He holds a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. 


Taya Reece Jardine
The University of British Columbia

Kwe’ n’in teluisi Taya Reece Jardine, Natoageneg tleiawi. My name is Taya Reece Jardine and I am a Mi’gmaw woman from Natoageneg First Nation, Mi’kma’ki colonially referred to as Atlantic Canada. I hold a bachelor of arts in cultural studies with a minor in Indigenous studies. During undergrad, I focused my studies on Indigenous representations in popular media, especially Indigenous filmmaking. I am currently in my first year pursuing my master’s in library and information studies at UBC’s School of Information. I plan to enter the First Nations Curriculum Concentration, with hopes to travel to different Indigenous communities and help curate community libraries aimed to uplift and maintain nation-specific Indigenous knowledges. 


Jessica Nombrano Larsen
San José State University

Jessica Nombrano Larsen is a proud, first-generation, autistic Latina. She is also a mother, wife, neurodiversity advocate, and MLIS student at San José State University with a passion for helping students from underserved communities obtain educational equity. Her research is focused on the development of more effective academic and socio-emotional supports and resources for autistic students, and she would love to continue this work as an academic librarian/research professor once she obtains her degree. She is part of a team that was recently awarded a grant to start the Empowering Autistic Scholars (EAS) program at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Jessica will develop and manage the EAS program, which seeks to empower autistic students by providing them with peer mentoring, academic and career advising, technical and design skills training, and paid research experience. Additionally, she has been awarded an ALA Spectrum Scholarship and a REFORMA Scholarship. 


Francisco J. López-Huerta
San José State University

Francisco López-Huerta is a graduate student at San José State University, where he is completing his degree in archives and records administration. In 2018, he earned his undergraduate degree in anthropology from Humboldt State University, where he completed two internships with Special Collections. Then he accepted an internship at Getty Research Institute’s (GRI) Digital Florentine Codex Initiative as part of the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program, an experience that ultimately steered him towards archives and special collections. Since 2019, Francisco has worked at GRI Special Collections as a library assistant and in 2020 joined both the GRI Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) task force and the Getty Bilingual & Interpretation working group. As a member of both groups he actively engages with senior leadership and staff to explore different ways our institutions can better serve our local communities long-term.


Krystal Madkins
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Krystal Madkins is currently pursuing a master in library and information science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She previously completed a master of public health in epidemiology at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and works as a research project manager for an online HIV-prevention study at Northwestern University. Krystal also currently works part-time as an Ask a Librarian apprentice at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is interested in sexual health and well-being, health literacy, and community-based participatory research. Krystal became interested in librarianship because of its interdisciplinary nature and the opportunity it provides to combine her interests in health and helping people learn and access information. Her goal is to become a medical librarian and help dismantle barriers to equitable health information and services. Krystal is a 2020–2021 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar. 


Anthony Martinez
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Anthony Martinez is a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign pursuing an MS in library and information science. His 10+ years in public service have spanned the fields of education, media, and now librarianship. He is currently a member of the New York Library Association’s Alternative Pathways to Librarianship Task Force and was recently a trustee at the Tompkins County (NY) Public Library. As an ALA Spectrum Scholar and ARL Kaleidoscope Diversity Scholar, Anthony is interested in exploring partnerships between public institutions and academic libraries, particularly how archives and special collections can benefit children and their families. Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Anthony is interested in serving rural, low-income, Indigenous, nontraditional, transfer, and first-generation students, as well as international and re-entry students. When not working on his degree, Anthony is a producer at NPR member station WBEZ in Chicago. 


Rosemary N. Medrano
University of Missouri

Rosemary Medrano is pursuing her master’s of library and information science at the University of Missouri. She first became interested in libraries and archives while obtaining her BA in theater from Loyola University Chicago, where she used archival material to write and produce a play. Rosemary currently works at the Prescott (AZ) Public Library and has undertaken digitization and digital history projects, as well as a local history exhibit. Her professional interests are in the digital humanities and data storytelling. 


Ari Negovschi
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Ari Negovschi is currently the media preservation graduate assistant for the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where she is pursuing her MS in library and information science. As a graduate assistant, she has unearthed over 4,700 analog media items from the Perry Miller Adato papers, which house WNET documentaries on such 20th-century figures as Pablo Picasso and Gertrude Stein. Her work on this project earned her a Nancy Mysel Legacy Grant, making her the first student at the University of Illinois to win this prestigious award for emerging film preservationists. Prior to attending UIUC, Ari received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Film and Video Program, where she studied analog film and video technologies. The child of immigrants from Mexico and Romania, she hopes to bring her intersectional perspective to the world of moving image archives in order to create a more complete and inclusive historical record.


Adira-Danique Philyaw 
Florida State University

Adira-Danique Philyaw is pursuing a dual-degree in social work and information at Florida State University (FSU). She earned her master’s degree in literary and cultural studies from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013 and her bachelor’s degrees in psychology in 2012 and social work in 2020 from FSU. Adira-Danique’s desire to embark on a career in social work and librarianship and archival stewardship stems from her belief that libraries are public, community-orientated spaces that hold the potential to offer patrons resources devoid from the pressure that larger social service agencies trigger in clients. Her research is centered around bringing awareness to the barriers to access that marginalized populations face and empowering these populations to tell their own stories and preserve their histories as a means of promoting collective healing from historical trauma. As an MSI student, Adira-Danique aims to learn how to utilize technology to advocate, effectively promote dynamic research, and build a safe space for clients within libraries and their communities.


2020–2022 Diversity Scholars

Kimberly Villafuerte Barzola
Simmons University

Kimberly Villafuerte Barzola, a lifelong resident of the Greater Boston area, is an incoming library and information science graduate student at Simmons University in Boston. In 2017 she received her BA in agrarian studies, a self-designed program, with a minor in environmental policy and analysis from Boston University. She has previously worked on Quechua language revitalization efforts in Peru and currently works at the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT Libraries supporting digital humanities projects. Her interests include expanding language and cultural access to library and information resources as well as working to develop community-based archives and libraries. She is currently a member of the fourth cohort of the Library Freedom Institute and recipient of the George A. Strait Minority Fellowship and Scholarship from the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL). 


Dymond Bush
Simmons University

Dymond Bush is currently pursuing a master of library and information science degree at Simmons University. She most recently worked in the nonprofit sector as a program manager for Scholar Athletes in Boston and as a high school advisor for the College Crusade of Rhode Island. Dymond earned a master’s degree in kinesiology specializing in sports management and policy from the University of Georgia in 2014 and a bachelor’s degree in sports management from Hampton University in 2012. Her interest in librarianship was sparked by an internship at the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum. She is passionate about pursuing a career in library science to combine her passions of service, sports, and history. Her goal is to become a sports librarian to increase the representation of people of color in athletic collections and archives. Dymond is also a 2020–2021 American Library Association (ALA) Spectrum Scholar.


Brittany Butler
San José State University

Brittany Butler is currently pursuing her master’s in library and information science at San José State University with an emphasis in web programming and data science. She earned her bachelor’s in African American studies and anthropology in 2019 from the University of California (UC), Berkeley. Throughout her time at UC Berkeley she worked as a library assistant for the African Studies Collection. After graduating she was selected as a West African Research Association library fellow where she practiced Africana librarianship in Dakar, Senegal. This particular experience gave her even more fortitude in her understanding that education is critical to any person’s ability to control and determine the direction of their own life. Her goal is to become a global librarian so that she can assure that information access will no longer be a barrier for young scholars who have an innate right to access reliable and credible information.


Valeria Dávila Gronros
The University of Alabama

Valeria Dávila Gronros is an MLIS student in the inaugural audiovisual preservation and archiving program at The University of Alabama School of Library and Information Studies. A native from Argentina, and a first-generation college student, Valeria earned a BA in cinematography at the Fundación Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. Her passion for audiovisual preservation and archiving began while digitally restoring her country’s film heritage, where she forged a perception of archiving as a healing practice. Her work in academic libraries began at Oregon State University Libraries as a digitization technician, helping make materials publicly available online, and continues today as a 2019–2021 Diversity Scholar. Valeria is an active member and incoming chair at REFORMA Oregon’s Libros for Oregon, a program helping Oregon libraries develop their collections in Spanish. As a scholar in the Kaleidoscope Program, she expects to further develop skills for leading, collaborating, and making change within the field.


Laquanda M. Fields
University at Buffalo, SUNY

Laquanda M. Fields has been accepted into the Information and Library Science (Online) MS Program at University at Buffalo, and will begin her studies in August 2020. She earned her BS in journalism and broadcasting with a concentration in public relations and a minor in African American studies from The College at Brockport, SUNY. Laquanda is passionate about building community through representation and equity. She is the student projects and student employment manager for River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester. In this role, Laquanda coordinates the Career Exploration in Librarianship and Mentorship (CEILAM) program, where she has the opportunity to work directly with students to introduce them to the field of information and research through mentoring and project-based work—building a community of future librarians. In her future career, Laquanda will continue working with students and will apply her passion for building community to the field of research and archiving.


Ramón García
University of North Texas

Ramón García is a graduate student in his final year of the MS-LS program at the University of North Texas (UNT). Ramón holds a BA in English with a minor in Mexican American studies from The University of Texas at Arlington. His interest in libraries began at the early age of three through visits to his local library with his mother. Currently, he is a research and user experience intern at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and a metadata technician for the UNT Special Collections department. It was through SMU’s internship program that he rediscovered the joy of teaching, specifically that of providing research instruction to first-year writing students. As such, he is interested in instruction and digital humanities. Upon graduation, he aspires to work in an academic library. In addition to being an ARL Diversity Scholar, he is also a 2020–2021 Spectrum Scholar.


Kaia MacLeod
University of Alberta

A member of the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada, Kaia MacLeod is following in her family’s tradition of excellence in librarianship. She is entering her second year in the University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies. Kaia has an educational background in film studies and comparative literature, with interests in folklore and mythology. In addition to being an ARL Diversity Scholar, she is also a 2020–2021 ALA Spectrum Scholar and a 2020 AALL George A. Strait Minority Scholarship Awardee. Kaia currently serves as the president of her library school’s student association and has been writing a chapter for the forthcoming Library Juice Press book Residencies Revisited on her ongoing experience in the Indigenous Internship program at the University of Alberta Library.


Arianna McQuillen
Simmons University

Arianna McQuillen is pursuing her master’s in LIS at Simmons University. Growing up in Virginia, Arianna spent several years in foster care. Her undergraduate degree is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); she focused on anthropology and archaeology. She’s since stayed in the Cambridge, MA area, despite the snow. Arianna is passionate about conservation, integrating an understanding of diverse cultures into how cultural heritage institutions preserve, and displaying the history of those who have been marginalized and othered. She also enjoys applying her material science background to work with scientists and translate their needs. Arianna continues to volunteer with the Children’s Defense Fund after receiving a scholarship from the organization in her undergraduate.


Karla M. Roig Blay
The University of Texas at Austin

Karla M. Roig Blay is a recent graduate of The University of Texas (UT) at Austin where she received a BS in English and a certificate in museum studies. Starting this fall, she will be a first year MSIS graduate student at UT Austin, where she will focus on digital libraries and digital humanities. While at UT, she has worked in the digital stewardship unit at the Perry-Castañeda Library and in the digital scholarship lab at the LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections under ARL’s Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence. After the fellowship, she continued working with both libraries as a student digitization technician, while also pursuing two internships, one with the art and art history collection and another with the Landmarks public art program. Her continued interest in cultural institutions such as museums and libraries has led her to focus on how to make these institutions more accessible through the use of digital preservation and digital humanities.


Luis Rubio
Pratt Institute

Luis Rubio is a first-year graduate student at Pratt Institute School of Information, pursuing a master’s of science in library and information science. They received their BA in English literature with a minor in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies from Binghamton University, SUNY. Luis is the 2020–2021 Pratt Fellow in the Brooklyn Museum Archives, working on completing a finding aid for two of the most utilized collections: the department of photography records and the photograph collection. Luis is interested in critical race theory, gender studies, and decolonial feminism. Their work aims to explore how photography as a medium, and the photograph as an object, are an important part of how marginalized communities document, share, and preserve their histories.


Brave Heart Sanchez
The University of Arizona

A second-year student at The University of Arizona’s iSchool and a member of Knowledge River Cohort 18, Brave Heart focuses on archival theory and practice. As a young Native scholar, his focus comes from developing information resources for Native communities throughout the nation. He is a graduate assistant at the Labriola National American Indian Data Center, where he works on a number of projects, including: updating policy for archival and print collections, collaborating with student organizations for library engagement, developing a library land acknowledgement statement, developing a social media strategy, analyzing search term recall by database, and processing the Jean Chaudhuri Collection. The variety of work, in light of current environments, highlights the necessity for a varied and responsive exploration and institutional incorporation of digital tool sets within every level and aspect of library and archival undertakings. He works to provide and develop digital and informational resources that embody the sovereignty of Native communities.


Alexander Soto
The University of Arizona

Alex Soto is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation and a second-year graduate student earning a master of arts in library and information science from The University of Arizona. He is a Knowledge River Scholar and an ALA Spectrum Scholar.  Alex’s journey to librarianship comes after years of success as a touring hip-hop musician/educator and activist. As a graduate student, Alex has realized the importance of culturally relevant information literacy within tribal communities, and the role of reparative archives in strengthening Indigenous sovereignty. Alex manages the Labriola National American Indian Data Center at Arizona State University (ASU) and leads Labriola’s engagement activities, facilitates ASU’s community-driven archive initiative in tribal communities, and serves as a liaison to Indigenous faculty. Recently, Alex helped co-author the library’s land acknowledgement statement. Alex believes Indigenous librarianship synthesizes his creative, cultural, and professional backgrounds as well as his commitment to social justice and community-building.


Jerilyn Tinio
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Jerilyn Tinio is completing the joint MSLIS and MA in history program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She holds a PhD in philosophy from The Ohio State University and an MA in philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Jerilyn is currently working as a graduate assistant with UIUC’s History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library. Before coming to UIUC, she worked as senior program assistant for collections and library services at the Newberry Library in Chicago. She hopes to become an academic librarian in the humanities focusing on outreach and instruction. She is building skills that will enable her to both identify and raise awareness of barriers to socially responsible research. Jerilyn also aims to develop partnerships with departmental faculty in the humanities to align library and disciplinary goals, and to foster critical thinking skills in future scholars through library instruction.


Y Vy Truong
The University of British Columbia

Y Vy Truong is a second-generation Vietnamese settler living on the occupied lands of the three title holding nations:  xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), skx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), səlílwətaʔ/sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh). In 2018 she graduated from The University of British Columbia with a bachelor of arts, with a double major in English literature and history and a minor in Asian Canadian & Asian migration studies.

She is the co-founder and librarian at joss paper library, which is a community-based library and research collective based in Vancouver’s Chinatown, focusing on self- and independently published works that center stories within the Asian diaspora. She is also the co-founder and community and public engagement coordinator at Bảo Vệ Collective, which focuses on language justice and information access for Vietnamese speaking communities. As a writer, researcher, and librarian, her work is centered towards creating ethical research practices, information justice, and grassroots community organizing.


Hailey Vasquez
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Hailey Vasquez is a graduate student pursuing an MSLIS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). While completing their BA in history at UIUC, they worked at the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections and, through ARL’s Fellowship for Digital and Inclusive Excellence, at the Student Life and Culture Archives. They are interested in examining the role libraries play in their surrounding communities and they hope to be involved with community-driven archive initiatives after earning their MSLIS.


Kelly West
Louisiana State University

Kelly West is pursuing her master’s degree in library and information science at Louisiana State University, where she is also a graduate assistant at the Clarence L. Barney Jr. African American Cultural Center. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in moving image arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and has worked in the public library system since graduating. Her professional interests include educating others through the preservation of Black cultural history, archival research, community outreach, and library advocacy.


Max Wiggins
University of Maryland

Max Wiggins is a first-year MLIS student at the University of Maryland (UMD), where they are serving in a graduate teaching assistantship appointment. Max holds a BA in gender and women’s studies from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Prior to their studies at UMD, Max was a high school English teacher, working to make critical theory and other radical literature accessible to teenagers, and prioritizing consent and dissent in the classroom. They encouraged students to see these texts as tools for examining themselves and the epistemological assumptions that construct the world. In their work as a librarian, they aim to ask questions about how libraries organize, privilege, contextualize, and produce knowledge. Whether they are connecting local artists or teaching at the Station North Tool Library in their hometown of Baltimore, Max aspires to engage in the liberatory work of building community through the exchange of knowledge and resources.


Alexandra Wong
University of Toronto

Alexandra Wong is pursuing her master of information degree at the University of Toronto, concentrating in library and information studies. She completed her undergraduate studies in a combined mathematics and business administration double-degree program offered by the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University. Currently, she works in the University of Toronto Libraries’ Information Technology Services department, helping to advance several digital collection projects. There, she applies her undergraduate degrees, prior life as a data analyst, and knowledge acquired during her first year of studies into creating standardized metadata, particularly developing the library’s involvement with linked open data such as Wikidata. Alexandra’s professional interests further include open digital technologies, data management, and organizational and information-seeking behaviors.

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