Meet Alex, our new Teen Services Librarian

Joining our Teen Services team is Librarian Alexander Gutierrez!

“I’ve always wanted to be a librarian and have the opportunity to work with youths because of their energy and optimism,” he says.

His path from library volunteer to librarian

Alex has been with the Oak Park Public Library since 2016, when he started as a volunteer. He then became a part-time employee who assisted the library’s previous Teen Services Librarian with collection management and program planning.

During this time, Alex was serving as Reference Librarian at Cicero Public Library and was working on his Master’s in Library and Information Science from Dominican University, which he earned in 2019. This month, he started his new role as Teen Services Librarian, joining Specialist Darcel Washington and Manager Stephen Jackson on the team that’s dedicated to serving teens in the library and community.

In addition to Alex collaborating closely with librarians selecting teen books, movies, and music, Jackson says “Alex’s gregarious and service-oriented nature will bolster our engagement strategies in 2021.”

‘Librarians save lives’: Words that speak volumes

Here’s more of what Alex shared about his new role:

“I will strive to be as inclusive as possible and reflect the values of our community. Working with teens has always been an ambition of mine, and to be placed in a position where that responsibility is emphasized is an honor and a privilege.

“I’ve served the community for four years now as an employee of the library, and I can honestly say that it has become home for me. I’m excited to continue serving the amazing patrons that depend on our library for essential support, whether it be academic or recreational.

“I hope to become a valuable resource to the community’s youths, whether it be assisting with homework assignments, facilitating programs, or offering reference assistance. I also hope to aid in hearing the voices of our teens and building a collection that reflects their necessities above all else.

“Judy Blume famously said, ‘Librarians save lives: by handing the right book, at the right time, to a kid in need,’ and those words speak volumes to the type of work that we do at the Oak Park Public Library.”

What he’s reading & more

“I tend to read a lot of science fiction and have recently been obsessed with the Halo series/universe because of the vast lore. I enjoy crafty tech hobbies like PC building or Gameboy modifications.

“I also value meaningful conversations and appreciate open minds that are willing to explore opinions. That said, I aspire to be as creative and flexible as possible with all of my projects and collaborations.”