Spectrum Scholar Spotlight: Marycruz Flores Reynoso

Marycruz Flores Reynoso

Thirteen iSchool master's students were named 2022-2023 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. This "Spectrum Scholar Spotlight" series highlights the School's scholars. MSLIS student Marycruz Flores Reynoso earned her bachelor's degree in English literary and cultural studies from the University of Oklahoma with minors in Latinx studies and Spanish.

Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?

When I tell people that I want to become a librarian, they frequently respond with "I hate reading." The field of library and information science has a reputation of only being connected to books, which ignores the breadth of the field and variety of careers available. In the Netflix show "Rhythm and Flow," one episode involves Chance the Rapper returning to Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago to hold auditions for a competition-based reality show. He tells an anecdote about how the library helped him get into slam poetry and performing, and how much he benefited from the workshops and equipment it offered. This positive portrayal made me happy. It showed how libraries are spaces for many individuals, not just avid readers. The interdisciplinary nature of LIS and ability to work with diverse populations makes me excited and confident to pursue a career as a librarian.

Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?

In applying to different graduate schools, I was drawn to the iSchool because of the flexibility of the MSLIS program and wide array of classes available. The School's emphasis on graduate assistantships and opportunities for students to gain hands-on library experience were also a significant draw in my choosing the iSchool.

What particular LIS topics interest you the most?

I am incredibly interested in learning about how bilingualism is utilized in library spaces and how a multilingual, multicultural approach can be utilized to serve patrons. Further, I am learning a lot about youth literature through my GA position with the Center for Children's Books and the journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature.

What do you do outside of class?

Outside of class, you can find me reading or watching television shows. I also enjoy going on walks and trying my hand at different craft activities such as cross-stitching and paint-by-numbers.

What does being a Spectrum Scholar mean to you?

The financial benefits and mentoring opportunities available to scholars are invaluable to me as a first-generation college student. I look forward to the collaboration built into this program and the access to a network of peers and alumni who share a passion for librarianship and diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts. I am beyond honored to be a Spectrum Scholar and join the Spectrum community.

What career plans or goals do you have?

I want to pursue public librarianship; in this sphere, I would like to incorporate my passion for diverse literature and bilingualism.

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