Library Technology Success Stories

Congratulations to our LT 2023 Graduates!

Associate of Science

  • Joshua Greller
  • Angela Lee
  • Jade Montez
  • Sohail Razaq
  • Julie Wintrip 

Certificate of Achievement

  • Taylor Fuller
  • Kavitha Gunanidhi
  • Laima Haider
  • Angela Lee
  • Ellen Mizuhara
  • Sohail Razaq

Kavitha Gunanidhi

2022 GRADKavitha completed a Bachelor of Mathematics degree in India, after which she got married and moved to the US with her husband and two kids (now in 10th and 2nd grades). When her daughter was small Kavitha used to take her to story-time at the public library, during which time she became interested in working at a library.

She later learned about the LT program at DVC and started taking classes. Kavitha would like to thank all her DVC instructors, whose course she found very interesting and motivating. A hardworking and persistent student, she most enjoyed Access & Technical Services in Library because she learned so much in this course and enjoyed working on the final project with her groupmates.

In her Job Skills for Libraries course, Kavitha found mock interviews to be very helpful, and she obtained the Instructional Media Assistant job she wanted at Ygnacio Valley High School. She enjoys her work and earns a good salary. Kavitha's LT internship was completed at Charleswood Middle School with Wendy Cunningham, who was so patient and from whom she learned so much. Kavitha also found the support and guidance she received from Tamar Kirschner, LT Program Coordinator, to be invaluable.

Beth Morris

2022 GraduateBeth has actually been a librarian for many years with a master's in library science. However, in 2014 she was looking for a job, and started taking LT classes at Cuesta College to increase her skills. She eventually transferred to DVC due to incompatible work experience requirements in the Cuesta program. Beth learned new things in all her classes and says that the LT Program at DVC is awesome and the instructors are always ready to meet and help you. She especially loved learning how to make libguides in her Reference and Research class and being able to complete her work experience requirement at her own school site.

Every interaction with Beth speaks loudly about her enthusiasm for learning and service. She carefully listens to and truly sees each person. Beth has recently been tenured as the teacher librarian at Martin Luther King Jr Middle School in Madera, CA and coaches the Academic Pentathlon team. She is hoping to start a yoga and mindfulness program. Additionally, Beth works as a librarian at Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, CA. She would love to one day teach a class in the DVC LT program.

Jenise Perez

2022 GraduateJenise learned about the LT Program through a librarian at the El Cerrito Branch Library and has had an overall good experience. Creative writing class really got her creative juices flowing, gave her the structure to write and reminded her that she really likes writing. Some memorable inside jokes were "El biblioburro", her funny little stick guy and the book mobile drawing. Her love of life, varied experiences, and wide-spread interests enriched every activity in our courses. Jenise found her internship at Niebyl Proctor Marxist Library in Oakland. She continued learning a lot about cataloging in Koha in MLA format and gained insight into how some special libraries are woefully underfunded.

She is currently working at Oakland Public Library, where she is applying for a permanent position. She plans to pursue an MLIS starting in the fall and is interested in learning more about archives, collection management and acquisitions. 

Oksana Starzhevskaya-Stowell

2022 GraduateOksana came to the U.S. in 1999 and had her first child while finishing her second master's degree. Unfortunately, due to ongoing health issues, she was unable to return to academia or pursue her planned career in regional planning. Having spent her free time at her own school library and helping there since fourth grade, and then volunteering in her children’s school libraries, she felt quite at home in that environment.

As a university student, she would go to Saint Petersburg Academic Library to research material for her thesis and the weekends spent there were so memorable that she keeps her library card as a memento.

Later, she researched, summarized and translated folk literature for a professor who was writing a book. Recently, she discovered that her previous degrees had expired, and she started thinking seriously about a career in an academic library setting. While researching graduate degrees in library science, she came across the Google suggestion: “Why don’t you look at the LT program at DVC.” She emailed Tamar (Program Coordinator) and decided not to expect a quick reply (yet she was checking her email every half hour). When she received Tamar’s message the next day, she was delighted at how welcoming and encouraging it was. She applied to the program right away, deciding to start with an "easy" class. There was a 1-credit summer class with Emily that she thought would definitely not take too much effort to complete. How wrong she was!! The class pace was very intense, and she enjoyed every moment of it.

Oksana then knew that she wanted to take every single class from the LT program. She enjoyed them all and was very curious to observe the instruction methods that professors had chosen for online classes. Some favorite parts: Pestering her friends and family to let her conduct reference interviews and creating a libguide in Amelie's Reference and Research Services class; shopping for books in GOBI and working on a group project entitled, “Academic Library as a Third Space” in Tamar’s Access & Technical Services class; doing original cataloging in Linda’s Cataloging class; digitizing her family’s negatives and creating metadata for them in Jackie's Digital Assets class.

Oksana shares her extensive knowledge and experience generously and collegially. She completed her internship at the DVC Library, with a goal to decide whether she wants to work in the Technical or Circulation services departments. She is still undecided. She loves helping students find what they need and making them feel welcome, but she also loves working with records, requesting interlibrary loans, and generating analytical reports in the Alma catalog. Both Ricardo and Tatiana, Senior Library Techs at DVC, were very patient and attuned to her interests, strengths, and weaknesses, and provided opportunities for her to learn and improve, and the whole faculty and staff provided her with interesting learning experiences. She says she is very grateful to everyone and to her wonderful instructors for making her experience at DVC so memorable. She was such a valued member of the team that she has since been hired to work at the San Ramon Campus as a Library Tech, and hopes to continue to learn from them.

Tracy Van Zanten

2022 GraduateAfter taking some graduate classes in the San Jose State Library Science program in the 90s, Tracy followed a different path to become an administrator at her church. This job also required the organization of information and she additionally became the unofficial church historian. When her job ended, she returned to her attention to library work and was delighted to discover the LT Program at DVC, which she began in summer 2019.

After the pandemic shutdowns, she found herself wondering what was realistic to pursue, but continued her classes and stayed open to possibilities. Little did she know that she would discover an area that linked many of her interests, skills and passions in her Info Organization & Management and Digital Assets classes, where she learned about Archives.

Tracy loves learning about people’s lives and history from documentaries, museums and visitor centers, but she hadn't known much about the work that goes on behind the scenes. She completed her internship at the Washington Township Museum of Local History in Fremont, where she worked on projects that helped her learn the steps involved in cataloging photographs and processing archival collections. She really enjoyed the internship and learned a tremendous amount.

Additionally, she discovered how much she enjoys the museum and archive environment—being with like-minded people (the staff and visitors); and being in an environment where curiosity, research, and taking time to think critically are valued, encouraged and necessary. Tracy most enjoyed discussion boards in her Canvas courses, where students could delve into topics and issues, and she learned so much from her classmates as everyone shared their own understanding of the content, their perspectives, and experiences. She found the posts to be a very meaningful way to engage with what she was learning, and also how they offered a way to journey through the semester together.

Moving to online Info Organization & Management classes on Zoom in spring 2020 was not something Tracy could envision herself doing, but Tracy felt that Linda took great care in helping students figure out how to manage it, and in also checking in each week to see how they were doing. Despite the very different format of the class, they did learn cataloging! Tracy feels there is such a richness and appeal in helping people find the information they are seeking, and in the archive realm, to connecting people with their and other’s histories, and overall to make what they are looking for discoverable and accessible.

She looks forward to being part of this process and is very thankful for the excellent foundation and experiences that she has gained from the LT program. She would like to thank all of her instructors. Her instructors appreciated her thoughtful and probing comments and agree that her contributions advanced our collective knowledge and understanding. Tracy is currently looking at entry level positions in an archive setting and until then, continues to volunteer at the Washington Township Museum and to take archive-related classes from other institutions.

Maggie Rogers - DVC library technology graduate

Maggie Rogers, graduate of the DVC LT Program"I had been a stay-at-home mom with a publishing background and lot of experience volunteering in my daughters' school libraries. I was searching for a new path to return to work and a library position opened up that matched my interest and skill set. I enrolled in the LT Program as soon as I became a Library Clerk with the Oakland Unified School District. 

Being part of a cohort of similar students provided me with a community of colleagues to share ideas with and ask for advice. One of the first courses we took taught us about different kinds of libraries. Although my current path is in school libraries, I was excited to know about other options for later down the road. Many of the skills we learned and ideas we discussed throughout all of the courses in the program can be applied to a large variety of school, professional, medical, and other library settings.

I am currently employed full time as a Library Technician at Montera Middle School in Oakland, where I'm responsible for collection development, displays, and library policies and procedures. I would definitely recommend the LT Program to others. It is a great place to gain a foundation in library technology and services. The variety of courses, the experienced instructors who are also library professionals, and the community of students all work together to provide a strong program.

I think that libraries are constantly expanding their services to their patrons, and continue to look for new ways for patrons to access information and services. In our fast-paced world, there is greater need for a reliable access point to information, whether that be through books, databases, or simply internet service. And for students, a library provides a basic access point to literacy. These aspects of library technology are still extremely relevant. If one has a passion for reading, information, and providing important services such as these, then a library technology career is a great place to start.”

Christine Freeman - DVC library technology graduate

Christine Freeman leaning on wall and smiling"After ten years of waiting tables and playing in rock bands, I decided to go back to school with hopes of working in library science. I completed my library technology certificate, and also took classes in California history, business applications and web page design. I was pleasantly surprised by how invested the instructors were in our success. The program was rigorous and varied, and I left encouraged and wanting more. I always felt like the instructors were rooting for us.

I left DVC with a love for the library field and a desire to know more. I went on to get my Masters of Library and Information Science degree at San Jose State and then began my work at Pixar, where I have worked as an archivist since 2000. Since that time we have grown from a team of two with a collection that fit into a double office, to a team of six with a 20,000sqft climate controlled facility. I have had the opportunity to work with museums, publishers, documentary filmmakers, and be part of a team that has built two different archive facilities.

I owe a debt of gratitude to DVC. When I needed to start anew, the building materials were there for me to use. The Library Technology coursework was complementary to what I learned in grad school. As with anything, it’s the work that you put into it that makes the difference, and I did my best to soak up all that my instructors were teaching." 

Students at 15 OUSD Schools Receive Enhanced Support From Newly Minted Library Technicians

By John Sasaki, For Oakland Unified School District OUSD Cohort

Twelve OUSD library clerks who support at least fifteen different schools are now officially Library Technicians after graduating from an intensive program at Diablo Valley College. The program is designed to elevate the skills and qualifications of clerical library staff and provide a District-sponsored career ladder.

“The DVC Library Tech program has had a tremendous impact on my library,” said Clarence Holmes, Library Technician at Alliance Academy and Elmhurst Community Prep. “The knowledge that I have gained has led to improvements in my day to day operations, and has provided the intellectual resources to facilitate changes that can enhance the future success of my library.”

The clerks began their training in April of 2016. They spent Saturdays in classes on computer technology for libraries, library access and technical services, information literacy, reference and research services, cataloguing, storytelling and topics in librarianship, all while also working their jobs. Markham Elementary School Library Technician, Ponpoly Thy would travel 50 miles from her home in Tracy to attend the program. “The DVC classes were a great resource for book and media center ideas to make our library an inviting environment for our students,” she and her fellow Markham Library Technician, Janice McClure said. “We introduced self-checkout to empower the children to check out their own books, something they enjoy and look forward to doing.”

The program was the brainchild of retired District Librarian, Ann Gallagher and the non-profit group Friends of the Oakland Public School Libraries. FOPSL, as it’s also known, provided each Library Technician trainee a stipend to offset travel and other costs, while OUSD gave each of them a Chromebook and other supplies.

Maggie Rogers is Library Technician at Bret Harte and Montera Middle Schools. “The DVC/OUSD Library Tech program was invaluable to me as I embarked on a new career in school libraries. Through this program, I was able to learn so much more about the ins and outs of working in a school library than I had learned previously as a volunteer. In addition, getting to know my fellow library techs so well over the course of two years has enabled me to share ideas and learn from these amazing professionals,” she said.

The 12 Technicians graduated from the program and received their Library Technician Certificates on Saturday, February 24. “I deeply appreciate the time and effort each of our Library Technicians put into this 18 month program,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell. “It took a major commitment from all these dedicated staff members, and it is already paying off. The knowledge they gained is making an important difference in the lives of our students and the education they receive in our schools.”

Todd Davis works at Manzanita Seed and Manzanita Community Elementary schools. “This program has meant so much to me. I never felt that I could go back to school after being out for 28 years. It has given me confidence in myself that I have been lacking for a long time. I have learned so much through these classes that I have been able to take back to my library and share with the students and staff that I have the pleasure of serving.”

These Library Technicians work at Hillcrest, Bella Vista, Allendale, La Escuelita, Think College Now, Manzanita SEED, Manzanita Community, Markham, Franklin, Sequoia and PLACE at Prescott Elementary Schools and Bret Harte, Alliance Academy, Elmhurst Community Prep and Montera Middle Schools.

Asase Omowale is Library Technician for La Escuelita and Think College Now Elementary Schools. “The DVC Library Technician Program proved to be an excellent opportunity for deepening learning experiences with colleagues, researching, analyzing and discussing the dramatic changes and new challenges to be faced in our new role as Library Technicians. The critical library knowledge and technological skills gained from participating in the program were meaningful, valuable and very applicable and will be shared with library patrons to further enhance their library experiences.”