Library Staff Profile: Touro College South Librarian Joana C. Fernandez

JoanaTouro largeAs far back as I can remember, I have wanted to live surrounded by books. Reading at my grandmother’s was a frequent noon pleasure during my childhood in Cuba. That is probably why I was not disappointed at all when I found out that on the admission tests required to access the University there, I was assigned to the School of Librarianship and Information Sciences.

When inside Librarianship School, I realized that the topics covered a larger spectrum than I had believed. These matters related not only to books but also to information recovery, technologies, databases, web page design, information marketing, collection development, and a lot more. All of this was a pleasant surprise, and I enjoyed the unexpected angles that I was encountering in the field.

After graduating in my homeland, I worked both in the public and academic library environment, at the National Library first, and then at the University of Havana Central Library. In the Higher Education Room, I conducted research on the Internet for professors, the sole patrons of the room.

Once in the United States I began pursuing a Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science (MSLIS) at the University of South Florida. While in library school I worked in the Miami-Dade Public Library System, and two years later, at the University of Miami, in the Education and Outreach Department.  I received my MSLIS degree in 2011 and, shortly after, I started working as a Librarian at Touro College South, in Miami Beach.

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Libraries today are not what I had in mind when I was a child, but the dream has grown along with me. Books have evolved too, as well as people’s information needs, and the services provided, not to mention the whole concept of libraries as institutions. Every time I step into a library I feel closer to the profession I chose, closer to my efforts of so many years. I have kept the same dream but it now encompasses getting in touch with the newest objectives in Library and Information Sciences, and the different models, perspectives, and material resources to accomplish them.

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