Between the Lines: December Member Spotlight
Dr. Daniel F. Flores
Blumberg Memorial Library, Texas Lutheran University, Seguin, TX
What inspired you to become a librarian?
I was asked to help with a library project in Peru. The church I was pastoring allowed me to take a part-time assignment as a library assistant so I could gain practical experience. I worked 30-hour weeks for three years, all the while learning about library operations in a small for-profit environment. Eventually, I took enough online classes to earn the MS in Library & Information Science from Drexel University. In 2014, I transitioned from pastoring to a full-time librarian position at Tarrant County College. My new career has been transformational and fulfilling.
What is an innovative practice at your library/organization (current or former) that you’d like to share with others?
We changed our philosophy of librarianship from an emphasis on books and related resources to a focus on the student patrons. This has resulted in developing stronger learning relationships with students and, I believe, greater job satisfaction with our team.
If you could have dinner with three authors (living or dead), who would they be and why?
I would love to host a late-night dinner party for Harper Lee, Frank Herbert, and Dan Brown. If the topic were mine to choose, I think a discussion about their use of symbolism in storytelling would be fascinating.
What are you reading right now?
No Man Is An Island by Thomas Merton
What is your most memorable Texas Library Association Experience?
This last D10 / CORAL conference will likely be my most memorable because of our gracious host partners at the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio and the amazing support team of TLA staff and TLA D10 members. My experience as a convener gave me a genuine appreciation of TLA and the people that make it work.
Anything else you would like to share?
I am falling in love with writing again. I recently published Respectable Methodism: Nathan Bangs and Nineteenth-Century American Methodism. My first attempt to sell this to a publisher friend at a major firm resulted in me being gently thrown out the front door of her Nashville office. I had all but given up on writing, let alone publishing. Ten years later, at a chance meeting at Pembroke College- Oxford University, I encountered an enthusiastic scholar who became my advocate and mentor. He requested a copy of my manuscript, offered me suggestions to improve it, and connected me with his preferred publisher. My book was selected as the first in a new series for 2023. This fall, it has received a nomination for a Latino author book prize. I may not win the prize, but I got my writer’s fire reignited. It is never too late to write and, apparently, to get published.
“I am a TLA member because…” TLA is a strong advocate for libraries, librarians, and library patrons. Everyone wins when we stand up for the freedom to read.