Since a young age, Diana Alfaro has looked forward to visiting the library to see the stacks of books and the librarians hard at work.
“My mom would take me to the library, and I would just stare the librarians stamping and organizing all of the books,” Alfaro said. “I remember thinking to myself how much fun it looked.”
Alfaro’s childhood passion for the library has transferred into her career during adulthood. For the past 12 years, Alfaro has been one of those librarians she looked up to as a child by working as a library media specialist at Lamar Elementary School.
“The students I see every week are so welcoming,” Alfaro said. “It sets the perfect atmosphere.”
For Alfaro, it’s about pairing every student with the right book, and getting families involved in the reading process, she said. With that in mind, she started Family Literacy Night at Lamar last year.
“We want our parents to have the opportunity to get involved in students education during a time that work wouldn’t be an issue,” Alfaro said. “During Family Literacy Night, we have puppet shows, story time and crafts. It’s a fun night for any one that attends.”
In addition to promoting literacy, Alfaro promotes environmental awareness.
She started a recycling program, which encourages each classroom to recycle by providing the appropriate bins. She also involves students in her efforts to create a more environmentally friendly campus, she said.
“I’ve always been very passionate about recycling and we have a recycling club just for our students,” Alfaro said. “They learn about recycling techniques and are encouraged to share them with their classmates. They also get to make crafts out of recycled materials.”
Prior to working as a librarian media specialist, she worked as a physical education teacher at Bowie Elementary for six years before going back to school.
“I wanted to go back to school to be able to pursue my dream,” Alfaro said. “I am right where I was meant to be.”