Monday, April 9, 2012

HVLA Member Spotlight: Laura Cain Rivara

Laura is currently a part time library assistant in the Friends Academy Kumar Wang Library and a graduate student at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science. 

As a young girl growing up on Long Island, Laura's grandfather, president of the Friends of the North Babylon public library, got her involved in their local library.  She participated in many of the library's reading programs and later, during  high school and college, worked there as a page.  Laura's technology education began at home with her father.  While building his own computer at home, Laura learned by his side and began to "tinker" with PCs.  She was introduced to the Mac while a student at F.I.T, where she earned her B.F.A. Half of her classes were hand skills (painting, drawing, etc) and the other half were software based (Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, etc).  After graduating, Laura taught art and set design to 6th through 12th graders at a New York City public school.  Although she enjoyed teaching, her early happy years in the library were always in the back of her mind.  Then, after six years of teaching in the Bronx and learning she was likely be transferred to a different school, the lure of the library returned.  She left teaching and enrolled in library school.  Friends Academy had an opening for a part time library assistant with strong technology skills and Laura was the ideal candidate.  Last fall was an exciting but hectic time for Laura.  She had not only just begun graduate school and a new job, she was about to get married!  When not working or studying  Laura surfs off of Long Island's south shore beaches and practices Tae kwon do, she holds a black belt!  After her years in a school with no library, Laura "loves the busy, lively, library at Friends and the daily interaction with the kids." She especially values her co-workers, each of whom "willingly share their knowledge and skills."  The HVLA list serve has been a great asset to Laura and she is looking forward to attending meetings in the future.

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