Meet Maria Ortiz-Myers! An RT Member Profile

By A. Faulkner

What is your role in the GLBTRT?

I am just a regular member.

What does the GLBTRT mean to you?

I want to help develop cultural sensitivity towards our LGBTQ friends and families among our colleagues and in the communities we serve as librarians.  I view the GLBTRT as an opportunity to do that.

Are you involved in ALA in other ways?

Not yet.

What professional work do you perform?

I am an instruction and reference librarian at a research university.  My primary work is delivering information literacy education to undergraduates. I also develop tools for them to use outside of the classroom.

What would you like to share about your personal life?

My husband and I are parents of two fantastic young people, one of whom identifies as transgender.

Discovering this truth about my son was at first shocking and frightening.  His expressed desire to have our family’s support made clear to me that I would need to examine my own heteronormative assumptions.   I am grateful that my relationships with both kids have broadened my perspective on the way the literature we consider “cultural canon” needs to be broadened.   It also inspires me to consider how I can support families of transgender children and young people as they grow together.

What are you most proud of?

It seems a cliché, but truly, my family.

Who inspires you?

My kids.

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

Personal: Finish my first half-marathon in January.

Professional: Get a PhD, develop outreach/information programing that serves families of transgender young people.

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

I’m not a visionary in this regard.  I believe public libraries will continue to be seen as valuable community spaces and conduits for semi-structured learning experiences.  More and more, our society demonstrates the need for life-long learning.  Libraries are our best hope to do this.

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

I don’t identify as a LGBTQ library professional, so I am grateful to be included.  But, as a mom, the GLBTRT’s mission to “serve the GLBT information and access needs of individuals at large” is urgent for me.  I LOVE that the group seeks to empower and support the full spectrum of young people and families.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Try & try again.

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

President Barak Obama, Michelle Obama, LeVar Burton, President Jimmy Carter, Pope Francis.

What is the meaning of life?

Love a lot, laugh a lot, eat well and explore.


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