Diana Lopez | Movers & Shakers 2019 – Advocates

In 2013, when Diana Lopez came to Marin City Library (MCL), situated in Marin County’s most diverse and economically challenged community, it had the fewest hours of any branch in the Marin County Free Library and was an untapped community resource. Lopez changed all that, enhancing basic services, providing opportunities for local teens to develop their technology skills, and offering specialized support for grade schoolers.

Diana Lopez

CURRENT POSITION

Branch Manager, Education Initiatives Coordinator, Marin County Free Library, Marin City, CA

DEGREE

MLIS, San José State University, 2010

FOLLOW

marinlibrary.org

Photo by Brent Ainsworth

MS_logo_300x81

Literacy Partner

In 2013, when Diana Lopez came to Marin City Library (MCL), situated in Marin County’s most diverse and economically challenged community, it had the fewest hours of any branch in the Marin County Free Library (MCFL) and was an untapped community resource. Lopez changed all that, enhancing basic services, providing opportunities for local teens to develop their technology skills, and offering specialized support for grade schoolers. In 2015, MCL became the first branch in the 87-year history of the system to be open seven days a week. And under Lopez’s leadership, staff are as diverse as the community they serve, helping patrons to see themselves in the library.

“I love our community,” Lopez says. “But there are a lot of equity gaps. My branch works hard to close those gaps—especially when it comes to serving our youth.”

Now, as both branch manager and education initiatives coordinator of MCFL, she oversees operations of the Bayside Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy library. New staff have been added at the K–eight school, including a library technician, and hours have grown from 15 per week to more than 30. In 2017, MCFL revamped the school library by aggressively weeding, matching school library funds, and using MCFL’s branch discretionary fund. A grant provided money for an early literacy station and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) materials and equipment. One of Lopez’s many partnerships is with the Marin Housing Authority to establish the Book Rich Environment (BRE) Initiative, which puts hundreds of free books into the homes of Marin City’s children, “which we know is key to promoting literacy,” Lopez says.

Sara Jones, MCFL’s director of county library services, puts it simply: “Diana is a passionate, tireless, and authentic advocate for the children and members of the community who are marginalized and disadvantaged.”

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

TOP STORIES

LIBRARY EDUCATION

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COMMUNITY FORM

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT

Kids are using VR to explore worlds and create new ones

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.