Feature: Librarian Paula Fonseca


Photo Courtesy Valerie Delgadillo

Ms. Fonseca poses in front of featured library books.

Paula Silveira da Fonseca is the Librarian of Maya Angelou Community High school. Fonseca was born on November 12,1971 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; she went to Princeza Izabela hidden tora High School in Brazil. “The first time I went to college I went to Universidade federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil,” she said. When she came to the United States she went to Santa Monica college to study photography, then went to CSU Long Beach for a Masters in English. After that she went to Loyola Marymount University (LMU) for a Masters in Education. “Then I went back to CSU Long Beach for a credential in librarianship,” she added.

A veteran staff member at MACHS, Fonseca has worked here “since the school opened back in 2011.” Before she was a librarian, Fonseca was an English teacher. As an English teacher she was constantly frustrated that students didn’t know how to research and realized that nobody was really teaching them how to research. This led her to begin doing research on how to look for information and how to help students, and that’s how she became a librarian.

Being a librarian isn’t easy; Fonseca’s job has a lot of moving pieces. In addition to working with books, she works with reading literacy, which is helping students finding books that are challenging and interesting to them. She is also in charge of information literacy, “which has to do with research and teaching students how to look for information and use information wisely,” she explained. “I am also responsible for textbooks” she says. When students don’t recognize or see her as a librarian they know she’s the book lady because she distributes books and collects them.

As for her favorite reads, “I love science fiction books,” she mentioned. She then added “Jeff Vandermeer writes really great science fiction books.” Fonseca’s long-term goal is for every student to find a perfect book. She wants every student to leave school being confident with his or her informational literacy skills.In three to five years she sees herself still here at Maya being a librarian teaching students how to love books and conduct research.