As published in the Sedona Red Rock News
This week’s column is another in Library’s series introducing you to the members of the staff. And as we are in National Hispanic Heritage Month, through October 15, we thought it would be perfect for you to meet María Bernardi, our Latino Services Librarian.
María has been with the Library for almost three years. When asked what she likes most about being a librarian at Sedona Public Library, she said, “I like helping with so many interesting projects. Librarians today must know technology as well as literature, which is both challenging and exciting. I am always happy to help people translate documents, forms or other documents.”
María is bilingual and her ability to speak both English and Spanish is a much-needed attribute for the Library. She can help Spanish speakers sign up for a library card, and she can answer reference questions in Spanish. She also manages the Library’s Spanish language collection that includes books, movies, and children’s books, as well as People magazine. “There are many more magazines in Spanish available online,” María noted. We have many digital e-books and audiobooks in Spanish available through Overdrive on the Yavapai Library Network. She really enjoys helping patrons set up their accounts and navigate all our online resources in Spanish or English.
For National Hispanic Heritage Month, María helped set up our book display in our Spanish Family area. These books are in English and geared to help non-Spanish speakers better understand Hispanic cultures. The display is for all ages and is located just behind our new book stacks. María recommends the books Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez and Lobizona and Cazadora by Romina Garber both in the display. These authors are from Argentina and the stories share much about that dynamic and historic culture. For movies, she recommends Coco and Dora and the Lost City of Gold as great family-friendly choices for learning Hispanic culture, both available from the Yavapai Library Network.
María heads up our recently revived ESL tutoring program. Currently four students are learning English as they work with enthusiastic tutors via personalized lessons. “We are always looking for more students and tutors,” she explained. With her assistance, we also offer a Spanish Language Conversation Group on Zoom. This weekly conversation is friendly and casual, open to the public, and if you’re interested in joining, please contact María at firstname.lastname@example.org.
María answered our five questions, which will help you get to know more about her.
Where were you born? “I’m from Argentina. I was born in Córdoba, the second largest city in Argentina which has the third oldest university in South America. My family moved to the United States when I was almost two years old, and I learned English in Story Time at the Cincinnati Public Library.”
What was your first job? “My first job after college was shelving books and answering questions at Sunset Library in Chandler. This is where I was really inspired to become a Librarian and started my MLS classes. I had always considered Librarianship a cool career, especially when I saw how much one-on-one resource a librarian provided. I started my training right as E-books became popular, and that was really exciting!”
What book most influenced you? “The Lord of the Rings series was the most influential set of books I read in my early life. I was enchanted by the adventure. Reading has fueled my imagination and creativity on many levels, and really, I’ve learned much about life and gained more confidence as I have read the adventures of others.”
Are You on Team Dog or Team Cat? “I prefer dogs, but I enjoy being around cats, too. I don’t have a pet, but I definitely enjoy other people’s pets, especially my brother’s two Pekingese dogs. They are like toys, or mops--they’re so furry and funny!
Have you ever seen a ghost or a UFO? “Once I was on a tour out near Bear Mountain and a sleek, beige flying object appeared in the sky. For a little while, we all considered it a UFO, but then we learned it was just a drone. I haven’t seen any ghosts!”
If you want to practice your Spanish, teach ESL, or if you are looking for a book or movie recommendation in Español, don’t hesitate to ask María. Have an idea for a program or need a room for an event? María can help you. With her language skills, she can also help you translate and complete a form that is in English or learn computer or other technology skills.
Sedona Public Library is your community library, and we are glad to help you get to know us, just as we are always glad to get to know you - in Spanish or English! We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and your generous gifts are always welcome. Visit us at sedonalibrary.org/donate to learn more or make an online gift, and thanks!
Sedona Public Library
Column for October 1, 2021
Written by Library Staff, Sedona Public Library
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Library News appears each Friday in the Red Rock News.