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CLA Elections 2017 - Estella Terrazas
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Estella Terrazas, Altadena Library District

ALA Councilor

Candidate Statement

Estella (Stella) Terrazas is the Collection Development Manager for the Altadena Library District, serving a diverse, exciting, and fun-loving community. Having an interest in environmental history and the American West, Stella has a BA in History and received her MLIS from San José State University. Stella volunteered at museum libraries while pursuing her education, and then became a cataloger for the Huntington Beach Public Library, and the University of California, Irvine Libraries. While working as the Reference Librarian for the Teton County Library in Jackson, WY, Stella’s passion for helping create the best collections for that community led to her position as the Collection Development Supervisor. If you do not find Stella curled up with a good read, then most likely she is having fun in the great outdoors!

Stella is very excited about libraries becoming transformative institutions in their communities and is running for CLA-ALA Councilor with the hope of getting more libraries involved in community engagement. Stella is enthusiastic about helping more schools and libraries build partnerships, and, advocating for libraries being recognized as a necessary resource in every community. Having served on several Wyoming State Library and ALA committees, currently as a member of RUSA’s The Reading List, Stella looks forward to greater involvement with CLA. Helping CLA champion libraries’ roles as institutions of social service is Stella’s aspiration.   



  1. How do you define leadership?
    Leadership is implementing clear goals and objectives, and, good guidance, to those in the relevant team/organization/group to achieve a positive outcome. 

  2. Why are you interested in this position?
    I am an enthusiastic librarian who wants to help libraries transform communities and I look forward to having a leadership role within CLA  to help California libraries continue to be transformative institutions. I am firm believer in the saying, "think globally, act locally." Being an active member of the American Library Association enables me to help the library profession on a global, or broader, scale, but, being the ALA Councilor to CLA will enable me to act locally. I want to have more leadership and direct involvement with the future of libraries in California. I look forward to being able to network with both organizations; sharing ideas that can help both organizations implement goals necessary to libraries in the twenty-first century.

  3. How would you describe your personal leadership/communication style?
    At the recent "Straight Talk About Leadership II," Michelle Perera asked participants to write down their Superhero Power. My power is the ability to be willing to try new things and to accept potential failure as an outcome. While my leadership style is to examine potential outcomes to a decision, and, whenever possible to discuss those possible outcomes, I believe that as a leader I have to be willing to take the plunge. As a leader, I accept that a decision, no matter how well examined, or, put into action, may have an unforeseen outcome. My Superpower is recognizing that I can learn from every situation, and, as a leader, I am willing to accept responsibility for the occasional negative outcome. As a leader, I take ownership of my decisions and aim to model positive behavior for others about how decision-making, and, take ideas to the next level. 

  4. What strengths would you bring to the position?
    I consider some of the most important leadership qualities to include active listening, patience, and understanding, the willingness to delegate, and good communication and organizational skills. I also consider these to be strengths of character, and, feel confident that I possess these characteristics.

  5. What experience do you bring to this position?
    During my educational, professional, and personal endeavors, volunteering within my community has always been a priority in my life. Helping people achieve their goals is a passion of mine, and, learning new things keeps me thriving. Having served on a variety of committees I am accustomed to advocating for the various entities, raising awareness about an organizations’ needs, and, expanding the reach of the organization. For example, I currently serve on the Altadena Library District’s Community Conversations Committee in which we are working to turn outward and transform our community by responding to their needs and wants. Having this experience of knowing what an interest group is seeking and working together to find solutions or create experiences is necessary to the position of ALA Councilor. The CLA-ALA Councilor needs to be able to advocate for the California Library Association to the greater library community, while also bringing applicable information to the California library community about how the American Library Association can be an advocate for California issues. My work and volunteer experiences demonstrate my ability to advocate and lead. 

  6. What issues or trends are particularly informing your work at this time?
    As a Collection Development Manager, I am very aware of the decrease in circulation of print and CD based materials. I recognize that library customers are looking for more electronic options, and, virtual experiences. To address the changing interests of our patrons, and, to better serve our community, I will be looking at non-traditional materials that we can circulate. I am very excited about the fact that more libraries are offering tools, backpacks, sports equipment and other items in their collections and see this as an ongoing trend.

     Issues that I find very important are those related to offering more social services in libraries. In Los Angeles, the number of people without shelter increased by 23% between January 2016 and January 2017. Library staff need to be looking at innovative ways to provide services to unsheltered children and adults. Medical care is another issue I find important and I think it is great that some libraries work with nurses to provide health care in their communities. Providing literacy services to both native and non-native English speakers is a very important issue, especially in this political climate. Ultimately, I feel that the issues and trends I need to focus on will be those most important to the community I serve. 

  7. Who are the thought leaders (in libraries or in other fields) who interest you?
    Miguel Figueroa really impressed me when he spoke at the Altadena Library District’s Professional Development Day in October of 2016. I am interested in the way he thinks about identifying trends, how values interact with trends, and being innovative. I like Figueroa’s thinking because he really encourages creativity, which I see as a valuable trait in a leader.

    I am also inspired by Dr. Carla Hayden’s tireless advocacy for libraries, education, and access to information. I am impressed by the way she engages with teens and recognizes that we must continually be thinking about future generations and how to promote libraries and services to that population. Dr. Hayden’s Twitter posts demonstrate a person who knows how to fun in their job and I find that a great quality. Finding ways to creative positive situations is a quality I admire and try to practice with my staff. 

  8. Who are the regional and statewide stakeholders libraries need to be in communication with?
    The regional stakeholders are the library users, library staff, and those who are tax payers yet do not enter the library. Regional stakeholders are also those entities with whom the library has a partnership, such as schools or businesses. Statewide stakeholders are also library partners, and should include CLA. 
  9. What do you feel are the most critical challenges and opportunities facing California libraries right now?
    The closing of school libraries and loss of school librarians continues to be a critical challenge. While a public library can provide assistance and school visits, children and teens still need to be able to access information readily and have proper guidance with selection of materials and information. The number of libraries in California that are participating in the Harwood process of community conversations is very encouraging. I see this as a great opportunity for library staff to build better communities. 


    ALA Councilor

  10. Describe your involvement with ALA.
    I initially joined the American Library Association on a student membership when I was working on my MLIS. My first appointment was the Co-chair for the Science & Technology Section General Discussion Group, of the Association of College & Research Libraries. At the time, I thought I might pursue a career in academic libraries, and, I have a personal interest in science. I became active in the Reference and User Services Association and served on the Outstanding Reference Sources Committee. Currently, I am serving on the Collection Development and Evaluation Section’s, The Reading List. 

  11. What are the most important factors or needs that distinguish California libraries from libraries in other states?

    The size of our state and the number and types of libraries makes California notable. We have the most number of colleges in the United States, which possibly means we have the most academic libraries. We also have the most museums; therefore, many special libraries. A factor that distinguishes our public libraries is that in each of ALA’s top twenty-five libraries by population served, collection size, items circulating, and number of visits, California libraries have the most number of libraries on the lists. Thus, the diversity of our library types and the communities they serve truly distinguish California.