Member of the Month

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Member of the Month

Mike Mendez
Librarian, Rosemont Middle School in Fort Worth

Professional experience

I graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Political Science before attending the Region XI alternative certification program and becoming a teacher. I started my education career teaching special education classes for eight years. During the last two of those years, I completed my master’s degree in Library Science from the University of North Texas. I have worked in both middle and high school libraries during the past eight years. I have been an active member of TLA since 2008 and served on the 2013 Conference Planning Committee and as Secretary of the Young Adult Round Table. I was also a member of the Tall Texans Class of 2013, and am currently a member of the Lone Star Reading Committee and the Woll Memorial Grant Committee. 

Innovative library practices

I love that the Makerspace movement is being embraced in libraries across the country. It can be as simple as offering a place for patrons to create arts and crafts to providing a space with electronic circuits and 3D printers. The most important thing is to allow a space to offer a space to create and share their ideas and projects. This innovative practice is, once again, allowing libraries to lead communities in technology and in movements that are making people connect in ways that they have not before. It is also bring a whole new set of people to the library to gather and use resources, rather it be space, tools, or materials, that may never have thought of using the library in that way.

Favorite literary character or book

My newest “favorite” book is The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. It is a story of basketball written in prose, but it goes much deeper than that.  It examines and delves into friendship and family. This book can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.  Its melodic tone also makes reading it easy and smooth. It’s a wonderful read that I especially like to share with my middle school students.

Most memorable TLA experience

In 2013, I was on the Program Committee for the TLA Annual Conference. It was an amazing experience to meet many librarians with different professional backgrounds. I learned so much from their stories and from getting to work personally with them. It stretched me to coordinate with so many people, but I made great relationships that are still very valuable to me today. The highlight of the conference was a behind the scenes meet and greet with Neil Gaiman. He seemed as interested in meeting me as I was in meeting him. What a cool guy and a great supporter of libraries!

Created on Nov 1, 2011 | Last updated March 01, 2015