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Librarian & Youth Mental Health Advocate

Headshot of Deborah

I am passionate about library services and young adult literature. My interest in this field began when I started working at an independent toy and bookshop. After five years of working there, I decided to become a high school English teacher. However, that didn't work out, so I applied for a part-time position as a youth services assistant, and that's how I got into Youth Services.


Working with teenagers has always been a passion of mine. I wanted to make a difference in their lives by being someone they could talk to and confide in. I have mentored several young adults whom I have known since they were teenagers, and that showed me that teenagers appreciate adults who take an interest in them by providing guidance and support. When I had the opportunity to work with another amazing group of teenagers and a colleague who was just as passionate as I am, I didn't realize how profound this experience would be.


The book I created wouldn't have been possible without the drive, dedication, and compassion conveyed by the teenagers who want to support their peers in crisis while educating and advocating for themselves. I appreciate your interest in supporting teenagers, and I hope this book inspires you to create an initiative that allows you to support and guide teenagers in a direction that will help them better themselves and their community.


Deborah K. Takahashi

I am an experienced librarian, author, and teen mental health advocate. I am skilled in developing and implementing programs and services that cater to the educational and recreational needs of the community.




- Master's Degree in Library Information Science, 2011, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA


- Bachelor of Arts in English, 2006, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, CA, specializing in English Education




- YALSA Writing Award, issued by the Young Adult Library Services Association in 2021:


The YALSA Writing Award recognizes the contributions of YALSA members who have written an article or blog post for the association's journals or blogs that is timely, original, relevant to YALSA members, and well-written. Each year, YALSA's blog managers and journal editors select a shortlist of up to five articles or posts that meet award criteria to submit to the YALSA Writing Award Jury.


- CLA Edna Yelland Scholarship, issued by the California Library Association in 2010:


The CLA Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland encourages and supports ethnic minority students in attaining a graduate degree in library or information studies and encourages their commitment to improving library services for ethnic minority communities.


- ALA Spectrum Scholar, issued by the American Library Association in 2008:


The Spectrum Scholarship Program aims to recruit applicants and award scholarships to students of American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander descent for graduate programs. grams in library and information studies. Its mission is to improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries in the new millennium. Since 1997, the ALA has awarded a total of 564 Spectrum Scholarships. Nearly 70 percent of past Spectrum Scholars remain active in the ALA three years after graduation. 



Monterey Park Bruggemeyer Library 2018 - Present 


  • Conduct community outreach and collaborate with city departments and local community organizations to bring new and innovative services to the Library. 

  • Collaborate with the City of Monterey to lead, implement, and monitor the City of Monterey Park Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnership (HOME) COVID-19 grant programs to provide rental, small business, and utility assistance to residents and small business owners. 

  • Apply for grants to provide Alzheimer/Dementia kits, mental health programs, and low-impact exercise programs for seniors.

  • Assist in preparing and monitoring the Division budget.

  • Develop and negotiate contracts with vendors and oversee the execution process. 

  • Train, supervise, and evaluate staff which include librarians, paraprofessional library staff, clerical support staff, volunteers, and student workers.

  • Write reports to provide updates and information about Division programs to the Library Board of Trustees and prepare Agenda reports for the City Council.

  • Classify and catalog materials and database management including career development and consumer health resources.

  • Recommend collection development policies and resources.

  • Oversee the development of programs and services for adults and teens including 3D printing services, Home Delivery Service, and the Junior Friends volunteer program. 

  • Collaborate with city departments to support and acknowledge programs and services that benefit the residents of the community. 

  • Train other staff and the general public in the use of the Internet and other online databases.

  • Provide professional reference and advisory services to readers


Pasadena Public Library 2014 - 2019


  • Assist patrons with reference questions, printing services, and computer assistance.

  • Co-manage two branches with the Senior Librarian and assist with staff management including handling internal issues and working with staff to develop specific skills for better performance.

  • Lead staff training to teach staff how to use the library’s Wii U gaming system, library ILS, and library maker boxes.

  • Create, implement, and advertise programs for children, teens, and adults.

  • Implement and launch a teen mental health initiative with the youth services librarian. 

  • Serve on staff committees such as the Pasadena Public Library Employee Advisory team, summer reading, and early learning workgroups.

  • Maintain branch library's social media accounts and contribute to library-wide social media efforts.

  • Maintain a working relationship with local community groups such as the Linda Vistans 

  • Revived Linda Vista Library Associates Group at the Linda Vista Branch Librarian.

  • Worked alongside library administration to renovate the Linda Vista Branch Library.

  • Lead class visits and community outreach for both branch libraries.

  • Maintained the library’s 40+ book kits and the Linda Vista Library Decorative Arts Collection.

  • Writing grants to support teen mental health initiatives.

  • Work with library administration to open purchase orders for vendors and suppliers.



Alhambra Civic Center Library 2008 - 2014

Teen Library Assistant

  • Coordinate and assist Teen Librarian with services and programs.

  • Teen Advisory Board and Anime Club Coordinator.

  • Creating flyers and handouts for Reader’s Advisory and outreach.

  • Conduct Family Storytime for children ages 5 & and up.

  • Designed and implemented Early Literacy StoryTimes for children birth-5 years old.

  • Assist the Children’s Librarian with programming and services.

  • Assist patrons at the Teen, Children’s, and Adult Reference Desk with questions, printing services, how to use electronic resources, and Reader’s Advisory.

  • Update and maintain the Alhambra Civic Center Library Website; created a brand new website with IT Manager.

  • Copy catalog Children’s, Young Adult, Fiction, and Nonfiction materials.


Glendora Public Library  2005 - 2008

Youth Library Aide IV

  • Coordinate, supervise, and schedule more than 100 volunteers a year.

  • Collection Development: Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction, and Reference; Children’s audiovisual and Children’s Spanish/ Foreign Language.

  •  Programming such as Pirates Day, Dr. Seuss’ Birthday, Teen Read Week, and Teen Tech Week, and assisting the Youth Services Librarian with programming and outreach for the Children’s and Young Adult Summer Reading programs.

  • Creating bulletin boards for Children and teen areas.



Author, Serving Teens with Mental Illness in the Library: A Practical Guide, Libraries Unlimited, 2019

Author, Libraries as Refuge for Marginalized Teens, YALS, 2019

Member, CA Library Leadership Institute, California State Library, 2016  

Advisor, Mental Health Initiative, California State Library, 2016



Proficient in MS Office Suite and Canva.



Speak and write in Spanish.

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