Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
CLA Elections 2017 - Patricia Rivera
Share |



Patricia Rivera, County of Los Angeles Public Library


Patricia Rivera has nearly 20 years’ experience working in public libraries.  Patricia worked for the Orange County Public Library System and the Anaheim Public Library System before working as the Teen Services Librarian with the Yorba Linda Public Library (YLPL). During her 8 years at YLPL, Patricia developed their teen services and launched many successful programs. She then worked for 4 years as the Public Services Manager for the Buena Park Library District, where she had direct involvement in the library’s operating budget. In 2011, Patricia began her career with County of Los Angeles Public Library as the Assistant Regional Administrator and directly supervised the library managers of 17 libraries and a bookmobile.  In 2016, Patricia was promoted as a Regional Administrator in West Region, overseeing the staff, programs, and services of 17 community libraries before beginning her current assignment as the South Regional Administrator of 19 community libraries. In 2015, Patricia began serving on the County Library’s Joint Labor Management Team and is the Lead of the County Library’s Immigration Task Force.

In 2008, its inaugural year, Patricia was selected as a Eureka! Leadership Program Fellow where she implemented an outreach program to develop relationships with the Latino community. In addition, Patricia is a graduate of the LA County Executive Leadership Development Program. She is a member of ALA, YALSA, PLA, CLA, and Orange County Chapter of REFORMA and has served as YALSA’s Youth Participation Coordinator, co-editor of the Briefings newsletter for the CLA Youth Services Interest Group, and chair of the former Santiago Library System’s YA Interest Group. Patricia previously served as a CLA At-Large Board member from 2010-2013, as well as serving on both CLA Conference Events and Planning committees.


Candidate Statement

Why am I running?

I am excited to have the opportunity to run for your CLA Treasurer. I firmly believe it is my professional responsibility to give back to my profession and to help it continue to grow.  Serving as CLA Treasurer will enable me to give back to the California library community and to actively participate in the transformation of CLA.

My vision for CLA and libraries

California Libraries serve a variety of diverse and dynamic communities. CLA needs to continue to the support and assist library staff to be leaders in the innovations taking place in libraries today and in the future. My vision for CLA is to increase membership by exploring new ways to add value to its members, seek traditional and non-traditional partnerships, identify and pursue revenue-making opportunities to secure future financial stability, and mobilize California Libraries to become their own best advocates.   



  1. How do you define leadership?
    Leadership is inspiring people to embrace a greater vision and then engages and empowers them to act. A good leader also needs to be a good follower as well, with the ability to differentiate when to each role is most appropriate. It's about building trust and holding oneself accountable.

  2. Why are you interested in this position?
    I firmly believe it is my professional responsibility to give back to my profession and to help it continue to grow, and one way to do this is by serving in leadership roles within professional associations. I have served on different CLA committees, including serving on the Board, and I enjoyed working with others who share my passion to sustain and improve the library community within California. Over the last few years, I’ve watched the transformations taking place in CLA, and I am excited to take part and assume a larger role in helping to shape the organization.

  3. How would you describe your personal leadership/communication style?
    I am a firm believer in leading by example. One of my favorite quotes is “Be the change you wish to see in the world” because it has been my experience that any change starts with me. How can I expect people to do what I ask if I’m not willing to do it myself? I strive to be direct without being abrasive and encouraging without being overdone. I do well to set an example of professional behavior to my staff and my peers. I wear the roles of mentor and mentee well, even within the same relationship. I believe in continued learning and learning from all situations. I prefer to give a helpful truth with a smile, even if that is not the truth that you would prefer to hear. I set expectations for others and myself. I understand that at our root, people generally care about the work we do and benefit from bringing different perspectives to solving our common challenges.

  4. What strengths would you bring to the position?
    First and foremost, I bring my unwavering commitment and passion for the profession. In order to successfully oversee over 17 libraries at a time, I have relied on my inherent talent to be detail-oriented and yet be able to expand my vision outward to see the bigger picture. I have the necessary skills to be able to handle and bring to completion multiple priorities with competing deadlines. I have learned how to build strong relationships with others to help build consensus.  And with an undergraduate degree in Physics, I am very good with analyzing numbers.

  5. What experience do you bring to this position?
    I have been involved in several CLA committees and have served on the CLA Board as a Director-At-Large. I am a fellow of the Eureka! Leadership Institute (2008). I have also participated in LA County’s Executive Leadership Development program, where I have learned additional leadership tenets. As an LA County employee, I have experience working on several interdepartmental committees with members of agencies that are outside of the public library. I have advocacy experience through my participation in local legislative visits as well as participation in National Library Legislative Day in Washington, DC. While at the Buena Park Library District, I developed the Public Services budget and reviewed the Library’s budget with the management team.

  6. What issues or trends are particularly informing your work at this time?
    At LA County, we are focusing on providing equitable services to our diverse communities and eliminating barriers through our iCount initiative. The need to recruit, develop, and retain a diverse staff who can assume leadership positions within the organization is also a priority. Technology and its effective use to provide better and more efficient customer service and help with processes is also a major trend.

  7. Who are the thought leaders (in libraries or in other fields) who interest you?
    There are many leaders who influence me. My Library Director Skye Patrick, who in a short time has helped reframe our direction. She has also moved our library well ahead of where we were in our usage of technology, and she has challenged us to find innovative ways to use technology to help improve our service to our customers and eliminate barriers. Other thought leaders of interest to me are Carla Hayden, Elon Musk, Simon Sinek, and Simran Noor (Center for Social Inclusion).

  8. Who are the regional and statewide stakeholders libraries need to be in communication with?
    Most definitely consortiums, libraries should communicate with their regional/statewide consortiums and associations, such as CLA, Special Libraries Association local chapters, Southern California Library Cooperative, Black Gold Cooperative, etc. Libraries also need to build relationships with local and state elected officials. In light of the societal issues facing libraries today, libraries need to develop a dialogue with social service agencies, mental health providers, non-profit groups, etc.

  9. What do you feel are the most critical challenges and opportunities facing California libraries right now?
    Funding for California libraries has been and continues to be a critical challenge for libraries, at both the local, statewide, and federal levels. Technology continues to evolve at a fast rate and the consumer demand increases exponentially, and the need for stronger broadband and the infrastructure to support it becomes a greater challenge for libraries. In addition, libraries have the opportunity and the responsibility to develop stronger relationships with their local, state, and federal elected officials to advocate for additional funding and support. Furthermore, libraries can seek partnerships with similar values and goals. For example, homelessness is a societal issue, with the best chance of being solved by taking a multi-faceted approach, and libraries are on the forefront of the homeless epidemic.  Libraries are setting the example of how the issue can be solved by setting best practices and partnering with agencies and community groups to help solve the challenge of bringing services to those individuals experiencing homelessness, who frequent the library.


  10. Why are you the best candidate for this position?
    I bring passion, a strong commitment to the profession, and budgeting experience. I pride myself on my attention to detail, but have the understanding that to budget successfully one must have the ability to look at the big picture. I have experience serving on the CLA Board as a Director-At-Large and experience working effectively with a diverse group of individuals from different agencies. This is evident by my involvement in LA Countywide task forces and success in collaborating with other County departments and community groups. I look forward to working with CLA leadership and library communities to strengthen the association and keep it moving forward and becoming not only a sustainable but a thriving association.

  11. What are your thoughts about the current CLA budget and financial state?
    CLA has been working towards its sustainability for many years, and even though there have been some trying times, CLA leadership steadfastly continues to work together to problem solve and work through its next hurdle.  Along with the need to continue to be fiscally responsible, it is even more imperative to continue to explore opportunities for new partnerships, perhaps looking outside of traditional library partners. Over the past few years, my work for the County Library has taught me the value of looking beyond the partners that we frequently turned to and to look beyond the usual and outside of the familiar.  And of course, develop ways to increase the value of what it means to be a member of CLA and encourage library staff and supporters to join.