Connect with information, resources, and one another.
Community Specialists represent a group of library workers whose focus is to establish Networks (Nets-That-Work). We meet people where they are while building bridges that connect them with information, resources, and one another. The library is our platform. The community is where we begin.
People are invited to connect with a Community Specialist to:
- Ask about and receive extra support and resources.
- Talk to a SPPL staff in their native language.
- Connect with someone they can relate to from a cultural context perspective.
In the last 4 years, Saint Paul Public Library (SPPL), Minnesota has prioritized and invested in expanding its Community Services department, focusing on co-creating culturally responsive and informed programs, resources, and services. SPPL has a small team of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) library staff members that work across 13 branches.
Community specialists define themselves as bridges, connectors, anchors, and advocates for their community. They build relationships and make community connections to valuable services, both within and outside of SPPL. The department bridges the gap between the library and underrepresented Saint Paul communities to address inequities in library services.
SPPL's model seeks to transform library services from the inside out to create an environment and connections between staff and community that provide patrons with a true sense of belonging and ownership at the library.
The work is intentionally intergenerational and multilingual in the spirit of inclusivity and accessibility.
Black/African American Community Specialist
Jenaya Myvett - firstname.lastname@example.org | 651-266-7024
Hmong Community Specialist
Yang Vang - email@example.com | 651-266-7038
K'Nyaw (Karen) Community Specialist
Jenny Ayechit - firstname.lastname@example.org | 651-266-7403
Somali Community Specialist
Ruqia Abdi - email@example.com | 651-266-8534
Spanish Speaking Community Specialist
Adriana Galván - firstname.lastname@example.org | 651-266-7047
Community Services Manager
Sarah Gerdes - email@example.com | 651-266-7482