As part of our effort to make sure you know who the staff here at the Texas State Library are, we would like to periodically highlight staff members that you may at some point come in contact with! For our next staff highlight of 2021, I interviewed Christina Taylor, Library Development and Networking (LDN)’s new Youth Services Consultant on the Continuing Education and Consulting (CEC) team)!
What are your job responsibilities at TSLAC?
As the Youth Services Consultant, I will work towards ensuring Texas libraries are knowledgeable about and have the resources to implement youth services that meet the needs of their communities. To that end, I will lead projects for internal, statewide, and national initiatives relating to youth services.
What projects are you excited to get started with?
As a fervent advocate for comics and graphic novels, I am extremely excited to help Texas libraries enhance the robustness of those collections and leverage their impact on empowerment, learning, and lifelong joy as they serve their communities. Furthermore, I am eager to amplify libraries’ community engagement, advocacy, and outreach efforts via social media.
What was the last book you read/movie you watched/podcast or song you listened to that you enjoyed?
This past year I’ve read so many books that were balm for my soul in the face of recent social unrest. My newest love is The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen. This graphic novel is an intensely gentle story of a mother and son who must navigate the shifting landscape of their relationship as they struggle with language barriers and a lack context for fully understanding each other. Outside of the luscious visuals and the backmatter expounding upon the writer’s craft, what I love most about this story is that it is rooted in a very personal tale of unconditional love that refuses to be unseated by anything. The mother’s love is and will always be a safe haven for her son even when she doesn’t have the words to express it or the ability to fully understand who he is. Every person deserves to be loved like that.
Some other gems that I’ve discovered are Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series and its copious spin-offs, Shanna Swendson’s Rebel series, and H.E. Edgmon’s The Witch King series. I’m finding that speculative fiction is a wonderful means of helping me contextualize topical concerns while providing just enough abstraction to mitigate being overwhelmed by them.
What is something about you that people don’t know?
My passion for vintage glamour is a critical part of what defines me. It is rooted in beloved childhood memories of my grandmother, echoed in the person of my mother, and exhibited by so many fierce women that I’ve had the honor of knowing personally or admiring from afar. It is—without a doubt—a physical manifestation of my better self and who I continually strive to be!
What drew you to this position?
I was drawn to this position because of the opportunities it affords me to promote learning and library work throughout the state and beyond. As a lifelong educator, I am thrilled that I can build upon my prior work and use it as a foundation for enhancing the service capacity of libraries and the library community.