Librarian & Youth Mental Health Advocate
My passion for library services and young adult literature began when I got my first job at an independent toy and book shop. After working there for five years, I decided to pursue a career as high school English teacher. When that did not pan out, I applied for a part-time youth services assistant and the rest is history.
I have an extensive background in Youth Services, but what spurred my interest in Teen Services is when I had the opportunity to work with teens beyond books; I was able to make a difference in their lives simply by being someone to talk to and confide in.
I have mentored several young adults who I have known since they were teens, which has shown me that teens appreciate adults who not only take an interest in them, but provide them with guidance and support.
When I had the opportunity to work with another extraordinary group of teens, and a colleague who is just as passionate as I am, I didn't realize how profound this experience would be.
This book wouldn't have been possible without the drive, dedication, and compassion conveyed by teens who want to support their peers in crisis while educating and advocating for themselves.
Thank you for your interest in supporting teens and I hope this book inspires you to create an initiative that allows the opportunity to support and guide teens in a direction to better themselves and their community.
Deborah K. Takahashi
Experienced Librarian, author, and teen mental health advocate adept at conceptualizing and implementing programs and services that meet the educational and recreational needs of the greater community.
Master Degree in Library Information Science, 2011
San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Bachelor’s of Art in English, 2006
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Pomona, CA
AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
YALSA Writing Award, Issued by the Young Adult Library Services Association, 2021
The YALSA Writing Award recognizes the contribution of YALSA members who have written an article or blog post for the association’s journals or blogs that is timely, original, and 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
CLA Edna Yelland Scholarship, Issued by California Library Association, 2010
The CLA Scholarship for Minority Students in Memory of Edna Yelland encourages and supports ethnic minority students in the attainment of a graduate degree in library or information studies and encourages commitment to the improvement of library services to ethnic minority communities.
ALA Spectrum ScholarALA Spectrum Scholar, Issued by American Library Association, 2008
The Spectrum Scholarship Program aims at recruiting applicants and awarding scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students for graduate programs 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 City Council.
Classify and catalog of 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 service to readers.
Pasadena Public Library 2014 - 2019
Assist patrons with reference questions, printing services, and computer assistance.
Co-manage two branches with 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 makerboxes.
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 libraries 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 Library
Worked alongside library administration to renovate the Linda Vista Branch Library
Lead class visits and community outreach for both branch libraries
Maintain the library’s 40+ book kits and the Linda Vista Library Decorative Arts Collection
Writing grants to support teen mental health initiative
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 & 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, 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.
LEADERSHIP AND ACTIVITIES
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