Library Scholarship Winner Seeks Literacy Activism

Kelly Campos leaning on bookshelf

Kelly Campos

Kelly Campos (BS, ’13) has found her calling in literacy activism; a prestigious national scholarship has made her goal of becoming a librarian a reality.

Campos, who joined a south suburban public library’s youth services staff shortly after graduating, is one of 61 winners of the American Library Association’s 2017 Spectrum Scholarship.

“Every class I took at Roosevelt had a social justice aspect,” said Campos, who earned her degree in liberal studies. “It got me thinking that librarianship, at its core, is all about literacy activism.”

Now a youth services programmer at the Homewood Public Library in Homewood, Illinois, Campos believes libraries should be community-gathering spaces.

“I am interested in building communities through library services,” said Campos, who believes a librarian should be someone who opens new avenues, particularly for youth, through books, audio, visual and online information, and social media sources that they might not get at home.

“I’d like to diversify what’s available in libraries in order to better reflect the diversity of a library’s community.”

Kelly Campos (BS, ’13), Youth Services Programmer, Homewood Public Library

“I’d like to diversify what’s available in libraries in order to better reflect the diversity of a library’s community,” she said.

Over the summer, Campos engaged members of the Homewood community by inviting one of her Roosevelt adjunct professors, Michele Hoffman Trotter, to speak on the timely topic of climate change.

“I think Kelly will make a great librarian. She’s already doing the work, really engaging the community in the
topic of climate change over the summer,” said Hoffman Trotter, an instructor in Roosevelt’s Sustainability Studies program and one of Campos’ mentors.

“Kelly is highly motivated and her quest for knowledge is quite intense,” Hoffman Trotter said. “I’m not surprised at all that she received this competitive scholarship.”

An adult student who grew up in Detroit’s theatre and arts community, Campos greatly admires the work of fellow Roosevelt alumna Carla Hayden (BA, ’73), the first African American female librarian to lead the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

“Carla Hayden has been all about equal access to information,” Campos said. “I agree that we need to widen the pool of resources available at our libraries so that we have a wider pool of enlightened people.”

Campos is currently a graduate student earning her master’s in library and information studies at Dominican University. She plans to graduate in 2018.

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