Meet our newest Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Scott Villarreal!
What is your name, your library, and your role at the library?
My name is Scott Villarreal. I am a proud member of the Christian County Library District, which houses four different branches—Ozark, Nixa, Clever, and Sparta.
My role in the district is that of Outreach Manager.
The Outreach mission statement reads:
Outreach librarians strive to provide equitable delivery of library services to all people through the development of programs and practices which make the library available to non-traditional patrons.
Services include bookmobile runs to various locations, our Homebound Program, partnerships with school libraries including student card drives, and attendance at numerous community events throughout Christian County.
What originally got you interested in working at a library?
I was a librarian’s aide in high school and found the experience to be extremely enjoyable. This left me with an inclination towards libraries that would not come to fruition until many years later.
I worked in retail for some fifteen years but found myself wanting more than a job where you made a quick buck off the public. I wanted something where the interactions that I had with people would be more meaningful.
What keeps you coming back every day?
Outreach interactions are special. You really get to know the individuals that you bring materials to on a firsthand basis. The stories they tell by sharing their lives makes an impact on you personally. It can leave you feeling enriched and a little closer to humanity.
I would never have stayed 20 years being involved in library services without the people that trained me and gave me my start. It’s also the best assortment of people that I’ve ever been associated with. There is literally not one person that I dislike in the entire library district. I’m convinced that I have the best coworkers and Admin on the planet. How many people are lucky enough to say that?
What’s challenging about your work?
The most challenging aspect of Outreach is making sure you actually reach the people that need your resources the most. We advertise at the library by putting available Outreach resources on our Facebook and Instagram pages, do events to spread the word on a one on one basis, but the best way to promote what we have to offer is the positive word of mouth from the people already receiving Outreach services.
Who are some of your mentors?
Christian County Library veteran of 58 years, Ruth Davis, was instrumental to the development of my early library career. She taught me to respect my patrons and showed me how a library works.
Geri Godber elevated me to the status of Outreach Manager in 2018 and for that I will be eternally indebted. She was a strong leader and taught me about the importance of listening and management in general.
Nicholas Holladay is my current Supervisor. I’m grateful for his guidance in making me a better Manager on a daily basis. His management style is one of intelligence, grace, humor and compassion. Thank God he’s a patient man.
What book, author, artist, show, or music are you engaging with this week, either personally or professionally? Persuade us in one or two sentences that we should pick this up, too.
Legendary comic book artist/writer George Perez recently told the world that he has inoperable pancreatic cancer and has 6 months to a year to live. Perez was and always will be an integral part of my adolescent years, with his reach extending into my adult life. His expert storytelling magically transported me to the worlds of The New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Action Comics, The Fantastic Four, the Avengers and so many more. His work was there for me during my tumultuous youth and he was a great inspiration behind my desire to take Art as my major in college, his work even played a role in comforting me during my personal “coming out story.”
I would encourage anyone that enjoys the comic book medium to check out his spectacular body of work.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
My hobbies include, comic book collecting, music, fantasy, sci-fi, horror and artistic drama movies and of course, reading. I enjoy spending time with my boyfriend Chris, my dear friends and the best mother that I could ever have asked for.
Would you like to nominate someone to be our next Featured Library Employee? Examples could be:
…a new employee you’d like to introduce
…someone with a unique job or on a unique career path
…an employee you find inspirational
…a coworker whose gifts you wish were more widely known
…someone who’s “an institution” full of interesting stories
…a role that has a new focus or is reaching a new audience
…someone you’d like to make more visible to potential employers
Submit name(s) and contact information, along with place of employment, to Shannon Mawhiney at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do all the work of contacting; we just need you to connect us!