I am honored to have been elected president-elect of the American Library Association. I wholeheartedly believe that Together, we can bring change! I look forward to serving all of the ALA membership. Thank you so much to each one of you, national and international colleagues, who voted and supported me.
There are many people that helped me along the way and I acknowledge their efforts. I thank my advisory team, my social media and website team, REFORMA, New York Library Association, Queery Librarians, the Library Society of Puerto Rico, and ACURIL for the support and endorsement. There are many generous colleagues who also provided support and advice behind the scenes, and there are many stars who covered campaign tables and contacted colleagues during the campaign. I appreciate the support also of those who endorsed me on the campaign website, mailing lists and on social media. You are amazing. We did it! Thank You, Gracias, Efcharisto!
Today, I stand on the shoulders of trailblazers like Elizabeth Martinez, our first Latina ALA Executive Director, and Camila Alire, our first Latina ALA President. I am grateful to many others who paved the way for this Puerto Rican American woman. Thank you. I recognize you today.
I also stand on the shoulders of my ancestors. My family with Greek heritage, my Taina indigenous grandmother, my Spaniard great grandfather, and my AfroCaribbean great grandmother. I AM THEM. I am so proud of my heritage – as proud as I am of being a librarian.
I must recognize my mother, Doña Febo, a librarian, who taught me the importance of intellectual freedom and the right of everyone to access information. She would let me read anything I wanted. My father, Don Garcia, showed me to be fearless, daring, atrevida, and shared his passion for communities with me.
I am humbled and honored to be in this position today, and look forward to working with you all.