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Cybele Garcia Kohel selected as 2023 AASL Emerging Leader

CHICAGO – Cybele Garcia Kohel has been selected as one of two participants sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) in the American Library Association’s (ALA) 2023 Emerging Leaders program. The Emerging Leaders program enables library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity. Garcia Kohel and Brandi Veal will join 44 of their peers as the program kicks off during ALA’s LibLearnX event in New Orleans, LA.

Garcia Kohel, of Pasadena, California, is expected to earn a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University in fall 2023. She received a Library Technician Certification from Pasadena City College in 2021. Garcia Kohel also holds a Master of Science in Peace and Conflict Studies (1999) from George Mason University in Virginia and a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology (1997) from Cal Poly Pomona University.

Garcia Kohel is currently a part-time library coordinator at Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena and a contracted grant writer for Five Acres, an organization that supports transitioning youth in foster and adoption settings. She also volunteers as an advocacy intern for the San Jose State University iSchool.

She says her greatest accomplishment is the virtual story time she conducted in 2021 with local leaders for Black History Month. The program is continuing to expand to in-person events and includes Latinx History month, Native American History month, and more. Garcia Kohel strives to embody the notion that leaders are people who build community capacity from wherever they are, stating in her application that leaders don’t have to be in a position of power to communicate and organize teams of people to work together to solve problems.

“This moment is a critical time for libraries. Librarians are facing unprecedented change, and many challenges. This is why I’m excited to be part of this year’s ALA Emerging Leaders cohort,” said Garcia Kohel. “It means seeing how other amazing librarians across the US are turning those challenges into opportunities. It will be fun and rewarding to roll up our sleeves and work on a project together for ALA.”

Following the kickoff session, the Emerging Leaders will collaborate with their peers in an online learning and networking environment. Their work will culminate with a poster session during the 2023 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. With its sponsorship of Garcia Kohel and Veal, AASL will defray the cost of attending both LibLearnX and the 2023 ALA Annual Conference.

The American Association of School Librarians,, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.

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