Virtual Symposium

Overall, I really loved this course!  It has been a great space for me to reflect on the work that I have done and how it can be improved.  It is so great to see that a lot of what my mentors have shared with me are core components of this course.  For example, people-centered services, hyperlinked communities via technology, building community, and much more!  I am very glad that I began this path of librarianship I look forward to what is next.  Please enjoy my virtual symposium by clicking on the image below.


Video transcript:

Hello, Welcome to my virtual symposium, my name is Francisco Ramirez.

One of my biggest takeaways and realizations of this class is that

Libraries are about learning

This module made me realize just how much libraries act as a learning environment.  Even though I had been doing programming and volunteer work that contributes to the learning of the community, it hadn’t clicked. The work that I wanted to do and provide to the community required me to establish a certain level of digital literacy via computer literacy classes.  Without setting that foundation it would be difficult to achieve the goals that I had set and wanted for the community. 

The second learning takeaway I got from the module:

Planning for Participatory Services

The programming that I create in my community reflects the needs of the community.  Creating programming without their needs and feedback would be doing a disservice to them and a waste of everyone’s time. For this reason, I started a weekly program that serves multiple purposes.  I meet with our Spanish-speaking members of the community and share resources and services available to them.  I also use the time as a space for them to share opinions on past programs, suggestions for future programs, and any issues at the library. This program has brought to our attention some issues with our homework help center that needed to be addressed.  The great thing about this group is that they are very proactive, meaning if we only have 10 people show up, I know they will share the information that they learned with their social groups, and the reach with be in the 100s plus.

Another great takeaway and reminder was via

The Power of Stories – People-Centered Services

Not only did this module re-spark my idea to bring a version of the Human Library to my library branch; it reminded me about why I liked that program so much, the human component of it.  My mentors, both the one that I have now and the one that got me onto this path of librarianship always emphasized a people-first approach to the programs I offer and how I conduct my reference work.  They always remind me that the work that I do can positively affect the lives of our community members. 

For example, I had a conversation with my mentor and my division director that  stemmed from having fewer members attend my program than I was expecting. It was one of my partnership programs with our local community college to get some of my Spanish-speaking demographic into free college courses. I mentioned the low attendance but both of them reminded me to consider the impact that this program may have on those that do attend.  My ah-ha moment there was that I should not always be worried about the number of people attending my programs but aim for being able to positively impact those that do attend, that really shifted my perspective on programming as my previous job was more focused on numbers and I was still in that mentality.  I thank them for the reminder.  

Building Connections 

The success of my programming has been due to the connections and sense of community that I have fostered via my people-first idealogy. I strongly believe that they continuously attend my programs and offerings because I am doing programs and bringing services that fit their needs.  There is an open line of communication that helps me improve and continue doing the work that I do.


I want to end with a quote from one of the modules. “The best librarians make that emotional investment because they believe in the institution and the communities they serve.” To me, this encapsulates the message I got from this course and the idealogy shared with me by my mentors.  We all have the ability to serve our communities in different ways, it’s now time to invest!


Thank you, I really enjoyed this course and reading about everyone’s experiences and different takes on the same assignments.  If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn to stay in touch beyond this course, the link to my LinkedIn profile is on my Blog page under “Connect with me!” and on my WordPress profile. Stay curious and connected everyone!


  1. Nalatie

    Hi Francisco,
    I loved the perspective you brought to your takeaways. I found it so interesting that you focused on how this course has informed and reinforced your programming practices in your work. The new program you have created sounds amazing and so impactful. What an incredible opportunity to connect with those who attend your programs and to also think about who you connect with through them.

  2. Cindy

    Hi Francisco,
    This was an excellent audio, and the chalkboard style graphics were a perfect choice for a look at what you learned in the course. I love hearing about what it was like taking the course while already working in a library, super interesting!

  3. Kris Jayme Matas

    Hello @franciscor . Firstly, thank you for posting your script with your video to follow along! The amount of detail you have put into this, and every other assignment I’ve read over, is telling of just how much you care about bettering yourself as a librarian and person. Your “aha” moment of quality over quantity is such an important one. Those who attended your program did so because they wanted to be there. You improved their lives by offering the right program for their needs. You’re going to change your community, even if it’s one patron at a time. I added you on LinkedIn because I hope we can stay in touch 🙂

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