Asa L. Heyward, 2015-2016 Scholar, started his first professional position on May1st as the Senior Librarian of Teen Services with the Suffolk Public Library (Virginia) system. Asa graduated with Master of Science in Information from Florida State University this winter.
"I will be accessing the needs while shaping the direction of programming and services offered to this demographic," notes Asa, "I look forward to collaborating with my fellow Spectrum Scholars in accomplishing these goals."
Asa is ready to work with Scholars in more ways than one and encourages the Spectrum community to review openings at Suffolk Public Library, they are currently looking for a full-time Community Services Librarian.
Asa entered the library workforce 17 years ago with a job in an academic library. While his time in academic libraries laid a strong foundation for his current path, it was his experiences working in public libraries that inspired him to commit to a career in the profession and further his education. Asa strongly believes that it is important that libraries recognize and celebrate cultural and ethnic diversity through programming, outreach, and civic engagement.
"What I find most fascinating about public libraries is the variety of users they serve, the number of programs and services offered, and the efforts of librarians and support staff in building strong communities," writes Asa. "I’ve assisted library users in finding solutions to life changing events, partnered with community leaders through civic engagement, and acted as an advocate on behalf of the patrons I serve. Public libraries are pillars for social change, cultural enrichment, and social mobility within the communities they serve."