Bios: 2011-2012 Grant Recipients

Alan Bugg

Alan Bugg - Library Assistant Alan Bugg has been one of the faces of the information desk at San Diego’s Central Library for more than 10 years. During those years he’s also managed the inter-library loan desk, provided various peer trainings for the rapidly changing online catalog and been involved in various aspects of the library’s cultural programming. Alan looks forward to having an even greater impact on library events and the community with his degree.

Joe Burch

Joe Burch - A Library Technician with the San Diego County Library, Joe's experience includes assignment as a temporary Librarian with the Vista branch and an ongoing reference apprenticeship. She is working to complement her MLIS with a growing fluency in Spanish. As the library itself moves towards offering more services online, she hopes to improve the library's position as a transition point for patrons who need to increase their computer skills and technological literacy to be competitive in today's economy.

Rachel Daniels

Rachel Daniels - Rachel Thompson Daniels has been obsessed with books her entire life, and an avid library enthusiast since the age of two, beginning at the Serra Mesa branch. A volunteer at the Coronado Public Library since 2009, Rachel primarily works in the computer lab, and loves helping patrons use and discover technology, all while continuing to be fascinated with and educated by it herself on a daily basis. Inspired by her experiences to pursue her MLIS degree, Rachel hopes to continue helping the public realize the unlimited power of technology while never abandoning the sensory beauty that can only be found in holding a real book.

Michelle DeFazio

Michelle DeFazio - As a voracious reader, Michelle graduated from UCSD with a major in English and American Literature and a minor in Political Science while working at Central (Geisel) Library. She took a 13-year detour into the world of sales and learned the value of branding and marketing. Meanwhile, she was a volunteer tutor for READ San Diego. After starting a family, she volunteered for the United States Court Library and San Diego Public Library and organized a school library for her daughter's new charter school. She currently works as an Aide in the Tech Services Department of San Diego Law Library. As a future librarian, she would like to work with the community to educate them about current library services and programs, and develop new programs that benefit the diverse communities of San Diego.

Hoan-Vu Nguyen Do

Hoan-Vu Nguyen Do - Hoan-Vu was drawn to librarianship after working as a library clerk for the San Diego Public Library system. He really enjoys serving his neighborhood and being around the "fusion that is created through its diversity". His career goal is to become a Youth Services Librarian and to use his background in science to introduce youth to the importance of science in their daily lives. Now more than ever he strongly believes that libraries and librarians are needed to teach and provide a place to explore, create, and produce the next generation of academics.

Crystal Duran

Crystal Duran - Crystal works at the UCLA Law Library where she recently completed her B.A. in English with a minor in Education.  However, Crystal’s interest in libraries began over six years ago when she started as an AmeriCorps volunteer for the Brawley Public Library.  Crystal has worked as coordinator of the library's literacy program, in which she recruited and managed multiple tutors, provided conversation classes for adult learners, and coordinated multiple activities for children and families.  The close relationships she formed with learners inspired her to remain engaged with the community even after moving away in pursuit of her degree.  Although she is currently enrolled in the MLIS program at UCLA, she continues to volunteer with the Imperial County Free Library-Calipatria branch, offering tutoring in computer use for adults and after-school homework help for children.  She is hopeful to return to the Imperial Valley as a librarian to work closely with the predominantly Latino population to expand literacy resources and pathways to education for both children and adults. 

Lisa Ferneau-Haynes

Lisa Ferneau-Haynes - A Professional Assistant with the Oceanside Public Library, Lisa brings her experience working with the Young Adult community to the library setting. Her background is with Barnes & Noble as their Community Relations Manager, and as such she spent her days in the local schools and after school programs learning first hand the challenges the Young Adults of today face, and will continue to face in the future. Her goals are to continue to work with this diverse demographic to navigate the overwhelming resources available to them, to help them foster a joy of reading and to one day have the courage to be the singer on Rock Band on Playstation during a teen gaming session.

Sara Franqui

Sara Franqui - Sara is a former airline pilot who decided to pursue her first love of books as a librarian after becoming a mother. The need for libraries and dedicated librarians is more important than ever in her life as a mom. During her pursuit of an MLIS from Rutgers University she has come to volunteer at the San Diego Central Library. Through this experience she has gained practical knowledge to compliment the theoretical she has acquired through her studies. Bringing libraries and all they have to offer to kids around San Diego is her next endeavor.

Catherine Hong

Catherine Hong - Being a part of the daily workings of the library has given Catherine a deeper appreciation for the level of knowledge and professionalism that one must achieve to properly serve the public. In her 6 plus years with the San Diego Public library, she has worked very closely with the Youth Services Librarians. This has allowed her the opportunity to interact not only with our daily patrons, but with the children, teachers, schools and performers that rely on our branch for enhanced learning. Being the only Spanish speaking person in her branch has provided the growing Hispanic community with a familiar face. Breaking down the barriers of communication has been a goal for her, because she believes that "once you make a patron feel comfortable and at ease, they are much more open to all of the possibilities the library has to offer." Through the years, she has realizated that this is how she wants to contribute to the future generations.

Kathy Jung

Kathy Mei-Fang Jung - Growing up in a suburb of Dallas, Kathy Jung won multiple awards for reading the most books during the summer reading program. She had grown fond of spending time in the library. After winning a scholarship to attend the University of Texas, she went on to obtain her degree in Management Information Systems. Since starting to work for the county library two years ago, she has been involved in multiple library programs, including teaching computer classes to seniors and performing story time for Chinese children in her local branches. Kathy would like to see the wide adoption of technology in our libraries so that they can be more accessible to the general population.


Young-Soon Kwon - As an immigrant from Korea, Young-Soon discovered that the libraries of America were not just a quiet place filled with books. As she became aware of the programs the local libraries had to offer recent immigrants and their families, she knew she had found where she wanted to pursue her dreams. As a Library Assistant she has already assisted with the library's collection of multi-cultural and multilingual materials. She has a desire to work closely with her library's clientele to create displays and programs that will teach the community about their diverse backgrounds.


Lizeth Legaspi - Lizeth chose to come to the United States from Mexico to pursue college. She was introduced to the library through a Work-Study Program. This program led to a job offer that has her working at the Camarena Memorial Library. She enjoys working with the patrons there that remind her so much of herself when she first arrived in the United States, able to read English but uncomfortable speaking it. Lizeth hopes to further her education in an effort to serve her community at a higher caliber.

Kelly Macrorie

Kelly Macrorie - Kelly has worked as a student worker for the San Diego County Library system for over five years. Because of her love for her job, Kelly decided to pursue a career as a librarian. Working in a small branch, Kelly has had the opportunity to connect with customers to understand what they are looking for in today’s library. She has seen just how important the library is to people who have no other access to computers or books, and wants to make sure they will always be available. Kelly is interested in youth services because she feels that the library can offer a proper environment for teens to access information, support, and have fun during the difficult teen years. This will be her first year as a library student and she is looking forward to start her journey as a librarian.

Devon McClain

Devon McClain - As a Library Technician in the Children's Room at the National City Public Library, Devin enjoys leading toddler story time during the school year and art class for school aged children during the summer. She learned about the importance of literacy while getting a Teaching Credential from SDSU. She was lucky enough to student teach at Rosa Parks and Benchley-Weinberger Elementary, two schools with amazing libraries that demonstrated how important libraries are to children. She has enjoyed public libraries her entire life and receives great joy in helping young patrons find just the right book, whether it be for a school project or for their personal reading pleasure.

Kristin Mulvihill

Kristin Mulvihill - After graduating from San Jose State University with an MLIS, Kristen Mulvihill plans to become a professional librarian in the San Diego area, where she plans to capitalize on her previous master’s degree in Chinese, her technical expertise with relational databases and Web 2.0/3.0, and her 20 years of administrative and supervisory experience to work for a public library. She has applied the skills she learned to assist others in achieving their goals by helping them locate, organize, and process the information they need, and she hopes to continue to use her research skills in a library setting. While seeking this library science degree, Kristen’s educational goals will be (1) to learn how to use emerging technologies to enhance library services, particularly for people from rural areas, with diverse cultural backgrounds, or with accessibility requirements; (2) to improve her grant-writing skills; and (3) to use her fluency in Chinese to become more acquainted with the information needs of Chinese-Americans living in San Diego.

Laura Pendleton

Laura Pendleton - Laura's love for libraries increased when she began volunteering at her local public library after graduating with a B.A. in English. She has juggled part-time and full-time library jobs ever since then--mainly in San Diego County but also onboard an international book ship traveling to 20 countries in two years. Serving a diverse community to enrich people's lives brings great joy and fulfillment. She enjoys the variety of experiences that libraries offer and currently juggles three part-time jobs at a public library, law library, and elementary school library while pursuing an MLIS degree from San José State University.

Karina Ramos

Karina Ramos - As a native Spanish speaker Karina has already used her knowledge and abilities to coordinate outreach programs with a Solana Beach Head Start group. Through bi-lingual stories and activity programs she influenced the local youth and felt rewarded when they came to library with their families to apply for their first library card. Most recently Karina began working in El Cajon as a Children’s Librarian. In this capacity she is learning to conduct Preschool storytimes, helping with Teen programs, and will begin to develop community partnerships in the area. Thus far she is enjoying all the responsibility this new position offers and the opportunity to work with a specialized Arabic-speaking community.

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Steven Schimminger - As a self proclaimed Bookworm as a child, Steven has had a love for libraries for many years. Through his years of library experience in both in the academic and public sector, Steven has learned what a sense of purpose he feels when he helps the predominantly Hispanic community learn the value and resources the public library has to offer them. Whether it is information on how to fix their own cars or information on how to write a resume, he finds a population thriving due to the vast knowledge the library provides. He looks forward to educating future library visitors about the limitless information that the library can provide.

elaine_sinsuan (11K)

Elaine Sinsuan - Elaine has many years of experience working with the diverse communities throughout San Diego county. She has learned that although she may not speak the same language as many of her patrons, through patience and staff assistance all visitors to the library leave with something more than they came in with. This may include finding phone numbers, information about citizenship, or hosting story and craft time at a level that can be widely understood. She hopes to lead by example with her future as a professional librarian.

Monnee Tong

Monnee Tong - Monnee has been a library volunteer for three years, and has led craft programs and book clubs for children and young adults in Rancho Penasquitos and Clairemont. With a passion for art, she previously worked with youth at museums and art centers. Currently, she is a photo editor in educational publishing while she completes her MLIS at the University of Washington. After graduation, she wants to be a youth services librarian and provide a safe space for patrons to learn, create, and have fun. Being one of the few Asian Americans growing up in a rural community, she can relate to the anxiety one feels being an outsider. She hopes to ease any patrons' fears about seeking information, while also providing multicultural programs that act as mirrors and windows for San Diego's diverse communities.

Alison Weitman

Alison Weitman - Through her experience working in small town libraries, Alison has seen the direct benefit a local library can have on a community. Many low income families find their only computer access is at the library where they can have email accounts and work on school projects. With her ability to speak Spanish she is often helping the Spanish speaking community with their questions and information needs in the library. She is interested in outreach services and hopes to promote literacy in adults and children.

Brian Wickhem

Brian Wickhem - Brian works for both the San Diego Public Library and the California Western School of Law, and begins his MLIS in Fall 2011. Prior to entering the library field, Brian spent ten years in broadcasting, working for radio stations in Wisconsin and as a professional nightclub DJ in Arizona. In 2008, he helped start a non-commercial, public-access community radio station in Phoenix, designed specifically to give voice to communities underserved by the local mainstream media. In working with Native American, Arab, South Sudanese, and other ethnic minorities to create radio programming, Brian became very interested in using media to connect and empower different cultures. He hopes to bring his experience and passion to the public library field.

Julie Wong

Julie Wong - A Library Assistant for the San Diego Public Library, Julie has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Master of Public Administration from San Diego State University. Her philosophy is that knowledge is the key to success. Her immigrant parents taught her this at an early age. They instilled in her the principle that libraries have everything to offer; because there, the world is limitless. It is this appreciation of libraries that she shares with patrons of all ages. It is with this philosophy in mind that she chooses to pursue a Master's Degree in Library and Information Science.

For more information please contact Michelle Donez at [email protected] or by calling her at (619) 206-2790.

Serra Cooperative Library System ims150 (3K)

Serra Cooperative Library System is a network of public, academic, and special libraries in the southern California counties of Imperial and San Diego. Our goal is to help member library agencies provide expanded resources and improved services at reduced costs through systematic interlibrary cooperation. We are a special district of the State of California, with funding primarily from the State, but augmented through member contributions and grants.

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