Meet Holly Okuhara! An RT Member Profile

By A. Faulkner

What is your role in the GLBTRT?

I am currently the chair of the Membership Promotion Committee. I previously served on the Stonewall Book Awards Committee a few years ago.

What does the GLBTRT mean to you?

GLBTRT is a way from me to be a better ally. Sometimes it can be hard to check your privilege or to recognize problems if you live in an area that seems very homogenous. Being a part of GLBTRT has given me the opportunity to listen and learn from some amazing people.

Are you involved in ALA in other ways?

Yes, I am a member of APALA and LLAMA as well. My involvement in ALA and other library groups have varied over the years.

What professional work do you perform?

I’m a branch manager and adult services librarian in a public library.

What would you like to share about your personal life?

I’m an avid audiobook listener, coffee drinker, and enjoy watching football. I also read a lot of historical nonfiction which surprises a lot of patrons.

What are you most proud of?

My toddler. Hands down the most incredible little being I have ever known. There is something so fearless and exuberant about him that makes me so proud.

Who inspires you?

My son makes me want to work harder, advocate more, and just get involved with current events so that I can set a good example.

What are your goals? (Professional and/or personal.)

To convince my husband that we do actually need a Netflix account.

What do you think (or predict) is the future of libraries?

My hope for the future of libraries is based more on the recognition, acceptance, and change of perception of what libraries do and how necessary they are to building a strong society.

I also think we will continue to be places of information, trying to close literacy gaps (not just traditional literacy, but transliteracy), and will continue to be the informal mentors to those that see us every day as well as providers of hope to many people who don’t feel welcome in other places.

In what direction would you like the GLBTRT to move in the future?

More advocacy. I always think that library groups (as a whole) need to have a louder, more prominent voice in the world.

If you could be transported into the fictional world of any book, where would you go?

Avonlea. Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite series. 

What would be the title of your autobiography?

How to Use a Copier in Twenty Easy-ish Steps: A Librarian’s Tale

If you could only choose one song to play every time you entered a room for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would love to have Michael Buffer shout “Let’s get ready to rumble!” every time I come to work.

If you could have a dinner party with 5 culturally or historically significant figures, living or dead, who would you invite?

Eleanor Roosevelt, Claudette Colvin, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Betty Smith, Barack Obama

What is the meaning of life?

Hopefully cats.


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