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CLA Elections 2017 - Stacey Akahoshi
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Stacey Akahoshi, Santa Barbara Public Library

Student Representative

Candidate Statement

Hello, My name is Stacey Akahoshi, I am a third year MLIS student at the University of Washington. I work in Youth Services at the Santa Barbara Public Library, where I help with storytimes, library programs, and library displays. I have served as the distance student representative for the student ALA chapter at the University of Washington. Recently I participated in a study exploration in the U.K. focusing on diversity in children's literature and international libraries. I would like to be the Student Representative to the Board because I believe students are the future of the library profession. As students, there are so many ways we can learn from the current professionals while contributing new ideas and advancements in our profession. My vision of CLA is a to create a network of professionals and paraprofessionals who collaborate to create creative and open places to discuss our ever changing roles. In libraries, we are constantly examining trends and creating open and accepting environments. My vision, is that we continue to create a diverse and accepting place, while bridging information gaps and supplementing lifelong learning in fun ways. I am excited to be apart of the future of libraries!



  1. How do you define leadership?
    I define leadership as encouraging others to achieve goals that would be otherwise unattainable. It's a way of creating a team and allowing others to thrive in this environment. It's actively listening to find a way to inspire and empower others.

  2. Why are you interested in this position?
    I am interested in this position because I want to connect students with professionals in the library field. I want to find ways to help students become involved in the California Library Association and in turn give them a voice to help our board inspire and include students. I also would like to support the growth of students by providing fun programs throughout the year, by creating a larger community of California Library Students and by offering interesting programs at conference.

  3. How would you describe your personal leadership/communication style?
    As a leader, I like to create a fun and productive environment. I create a team environment by listening to the opinions and wants of others to help turn those ideas into projects and goals. I collaborate like this to ensure each person in the group is included. I like to lead by inspiring others. I think leading through passion and by inspiring others to reach common goals. I am a leader who listens, leads by example and empowers those around me.

  4. What strengths would you bring to the position?
    I am activator. I like to bring new ideas and creative views to any new position. I enjoy starting a new challenging project. I have experience in libraries and networking with library professionals.

  5. What experience do you bring to this position?
    I am a California Library Association Student Interest Group leader. I was the Distance Representative for the University of Washington student ALA chapter for 2016. I am an online peer advisor for the Masters of Library and Information Science students. I also have presented twice at the University of Washington about what to expect as a distance student in the MLIS program. Through these experiences, I have gained much experience in fostering a welcoming and creative environment for students to thrive together.

  6. What issues or trends are particularly informing your work at this time?
    I am interested in many different issues and trends in the library field. I find virtual reality, and robotics very interesting in the technology aspects of our field. I also have been studying diversity in children's literature, library leadership, and ways to use digital resources and child development in libraries.

  7. Who are the thought leaders (in libraries or in other fields) who interest you?
    Susan Hildreth, has been an inspiration to me. Her work in the library field and the research she continues to do is so informative and inspiring. She currently is a professor of practice at the University of Washington where she teaches her students her research on the future of libraries and the best ways to manage the ever-changing library world.

    Dr. Michelle Martin, who studies and teaches diversity in children's literature. She creates programs to include diversity in children's books. Has researched the trends of diversity in children's literature. Her programs Read-a-Rama have now been conducted over 100 times and went international this summer in the U.K. She studies how trends in diversity have changed and how to continue that narrative. Her research has inspired me to examine diversity in literature and make more diverse decisions when it comes to displays and library programming.

  8. Who are the regional and statewide stakeholders libraries need to be in communication with?
    We need to be in communication with all stakeholders in the state. This includes everyone who is a library patron and any one we could work with to reach others. For example, tribal leaders and educators, homeless shelters and transition houses, schools and county education departments, state senators and local governments are all stakeholders we should consider. From these communities we can learn more about the needs of different people, and have a better idea of the communities we serve.

  9. What do you feel are the most critical challenges and opportunities facing California libraries right now?
    Funding has been a hot topic in libraries for many months now. We have been facing many challenges with a possible cut of funding for IMLS. So as always, we are battling for funding and trying to show our importance to our communities. This will always be a critical challenge, as many communities have had many cuts to libraries in past years. So, it will always important to be in contact with the community members to ensure the great learning opportunities libraries create are begin seen. This is also a great opportunity to establish relationships with our community members and governments.

    Another critical opportunity we have, is to be a safe space for all people. A place where we can educate others on how to sort through fake news and how to confront conflicting views within our communities. We have the opportunity to help those who feel the most lost or alienated in their community.