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Published 4 years ago
Last updated 4 years ago
Homewood Public Library paraprofessional Kelly Campos has been selected one of 61 national winners of the Spectrum Scholarship.
The award, made by the American Library Association, will cover her tuition at Dominican University where she is a student in the master’s program in library and information studies. The scholarship also includes a trip to New Orleans for the 2018 ALA convention.
The Spectrum Scholars program recognizes exceptional and diverse students for their commitment to diversity, interest in a librarian career, community outreach, academic ability and achievements and leadership potential.
The Detroit native moved around pursuing her interests in theater, music and the arts. She calls that period her “gypsy lifestyle. I’ve lived in nine places in seven years.” She came to the South Suburbs in 2004 when her husband, Timothy, took a job in the area.
Campos admits her moves made it tough to stay focused on school.
“I had pretty much given up (on higher education),” she said, but staying in one place gave her the impetus to finish. She earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Roosevelt University in 2013.
Campos started working at two local libraries in 2014, one of which was the Homewood Public Library where she now works full time. Being in that environment convinced her librarian was the right profession for her.
Her love of literature, the written word and stories was the connecting thread.
Campos said, “I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up: a rock star librarian.”
In her Spectrum Scholarship essay Campos said: “Acting as a bridge between the information and the fun, the word and the story, the page and imagination is my highest calling.”
As a youth services paraprofessional, Campos focuses on programming for third to sixth graders.
“Learning without knowing you’re learning is what I’m all about,” and her folder full of program ideas is proof.
For example, Campos developed programs that connect art and math using paint, ancient Egyptian math and the Fibonacci sequence.
Next up is a karaoke party July 12. The kids program starts at 4:30 p.m. and teens and adults at 6:30 p.m. Bring or song, or sing along with one of the library’s musical selections, she said.
Campos is also planning a Slime Science program Sept. 19 that will have kids make foamy, magnetic and regular slime and learn the science behind each one. Registration is being accepted at homewoodlibrary.org.