Nominee for DORT Chair-Elect
Kathryn Pierce, Branch Librarian, East Central Regional Library (ECRL)
I grew up in central Minnesota as the only child of two teachers. I was an avid reader from an early age, carrying at least one book with me everywhere I went. After completing an undergraduate degree in Political Science and International Relations with a minor in Intercultural Communication, I spent a year serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with my local food shelf. It was during that time that I had the opportunity to shadow a librarian friend-of-the-family on the job, which helped me make up my mind to pursue my Master of Library and Information Science degree. I attended the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee on-site, moving into an apartment in the city sight unseen. Living and studying in Milwaukee provided me with many opportunities, including working in my university's academic library, and leading an outreach summer reading program for children living in the under-served neighborhood of Sherman Park. After completing my MLIS program, I moved back home to Minnesota to apply for library positions in my home state. I currently hold the position of Branch Librarian at the Aitkin Public Library with the East Central Regional Library system. In my capacity as Branch Librarian I get to work with all facets of the community to provide adult, teen, and children's services to a supportive, tight-knit small town.
This past year, I was privileged to be able to attend and present at my first ever Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference. I spoke on a Diversity and Outreach Round Table panel titled "Diversity! Move your collection forward" on the topic of new LGBTQ+ literature for young adults. As Chair-elect of DORT, I would work to make diversity a priority within MLA and in our Minnesota libraries. This is a scary and potentially difficult time for many members of marginalized and oppressed groups in our society, and I will do my best as Chair-elect of this organization to make sure that Minnesota libraries continue to be a safe and welcoming space for all. Librarianship is not a neutral profession, and as librarians I believe it is our job to advocate for our communities and to keep fighting for our patrons' rights to safety, privacy, free inquiry, and access to information.