Member Spotlight - Rosie Camargo

June 13, 2022

This week's member spotlight is on Rosie Camargo, Spanish language specialist and coordinator of events at the Niles-Maine District Library. Rosie is a member of the Reaching Forward Forum and the iREAD Committee. We asked Rosie to tell us a little bit about herself and answer a few professional and amusing questions. Continue reading to find out more about Rosie. 

A little background on Rosie 

I am first generation Colombian-American. My parents immigrated to the United States from Colombia in the late 70’s. I’ve lived in Chicago my whole life. I worked 16 years at Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, IL an independent Children’s Literature bookstore. There I learned about Spanish publishing, how to create and lead programs, and excellent customer service. 

After Magic Tree closed their doors after 40 years of service. I received my LTA certification and I started working at Forest Park Public Library. There I learned about how serving the diversity of the community is the most important thing a library can do. I made it my primary focus to create and host multicultural programs. I also was invited to be a Reviewer for Booklist Magazine. I will be celebrating my 8 year anniversary as a reviewer in the Fall. 

I worked briefly at Niles-Maine District library and then I left for Evanston Public Library to open the new Robert Crown Branch. It was a wonderful experience to be a part of a newly opened branch. During my time there I joined RAILS EDI Committee, Reaching Forward Committee, joined REFORMA, and presented as a speaker at Reaching Forward. 

Since then I have returned to Niles-Maine District Library as their Spanish language specialist and coordinator of events, I joined the Storytime Solidarity Team. I have made it my mission to teach those interested what I have learned about creating multicultural programs authentically and respectfully.  

How did you get your start in libraries?

I did not know English my first 5 years of life. My sole language was Spanish. When I started school my teacher told my mom to take me to the public library. Public Libraries are not readily known or available in Latin America and Spanish speaking countries. It was a wonderful open world. I totally identified with Yuyi Morales’ book Dreamer. The library was endless possibilities and my librarian was my superhero. 

Best advice you've received since starting your career in libraries?

  1. “Don’t pick that up” - you don’t have to fix everything that people see as “wrong,” some problems aren’t yours to take on.
  2. “To your company you are replaceable. To your Family you are irreplaceable.” Really learn the Life and Work balance.
  3. “My voice, my experiences, my background matters”. People connect through shared experiences. 

Any advice to newcomers working in libraries?

Be patient. Be kind. You are valued. You matter. You brighten someone’s day. Some days I don’t believe these quotes but many many other days it rings with so much truth. 

When and why did you become a member of ILA?

In 2016 I won the ILA Golden Ticket Award and purchased my first membership. I had been working at my library for 3 years then. 

How has being a member of ILA helped you professionally?

I believe that in order to encourage change you must participate. Being a member of ILA helps me participate, keeps me up to date with information I need to know to better myself in my career. 

What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

I am VERY blessed in my library career with all the possibilities I have been offered. Most recently, having Kate Reynolds, the founder of Storytime Solidarity, reach out to me and invite me to join this amazing team in helping make a difference and become a resource for librarians and teachers to use to be more Equitable, Diverse, and Inclusive to their little readers/listeners. 

Hardcover, paperback, e-reader, audiobook, or all?

As a reviewer, I love all the ways literature is presented. 

Favorite author?

Jane Austen (Classic), Julia Dahl (Contemporary), Daniel Krause (Children’s), and Lil libros series (Picture books).

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what five books would you bring with you to pass the time until being rescued?

  • Little Women
  • Don Quixote in Spanish
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula
  • Feeding the Soul by Tabitha Brown
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende in Spanish

Cat or Dog?

I have 3 cats: Ramen, Rice, and Cafe and 2 Dogs: Beans and Macaroni (My daughter names all our pets her favorite foods) 

Favorite film, podcast, or television show?

  • Podcast: Dark History Bailey Sarian
  • TV Show: Murdoch Mysteries (Canadian show)
  • Film: Resident Evil movie series

One person you would like to meet, dead or alive why?

Dead: Edgar Allen Poe 

Alive: Keanu Reeves

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »