Luis is currently the Director of Library Technical Services at El Paso Community College. His life-long goal is to improve literacy and library services to the diverse and growing Latino population of the Unites States. He has held numerous leadership positions in REFORMA, the National Association to promote library and information services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking.He served as REFORMA National President in 2008-09. Under his leadership, effort were initiatd to create a 501(c) 3 non profit organization. This goal was accomplished last year with the creation of the REFORMA Educational Foundation.
As president of El Paso Public Library Association, Luis continues on his mission to support events and projects that addresses the vital issues of reading, literacy, and library services in this community. EPPLA has created poetry and reading contests for midlle school children of El Paso. The most recent event was our donation of 144 Dr. Seuss books for a reading activity led by one of our member in a school in el Segundo Barrio.
With the help of the community, EPPLA will continue offering cultural programs that benefit the cultural growth of our children in El Paso.
Lorena Gutierrez is the secretary of EPPLA. She has a BA in Communication Science from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico, attended the course “La Lectura y sus Mediadiores” granted online by the IBBY Mexico, and currently is pursuing an associate degree in Library Science at the DACC in Las Cruces NM.
Lorena has been working with children as reading promoter for the last ten years, encouraging them to read using Children’s Literature in Spanish. Her main passion is reading, and because of that, she organized the First Children’s Book Fair in Delicias Mexico in 2006, the First Contest of Young Narrators for children in 1st through 6th grade in 2009 and 2010, and made audios using actual children’s ideas about stories for radio broadcasting. She has published three books for children: “Juega y Aprende con Animales del Desierto de Chihuahua” (2006), “Un paseo por los algodonales” ( 2007), and is coauthor of the book “Juega y Aprende con Dinosaurios. El Pasado Geologico de Chihuahua” (2009). Lorena moved from Delicias Chihuahua to El Paso Texas in 2012, and is leading two Reading Promotion workshops in Spanish for bilingual and mono-lingual children.
Oscar Baeza is a full time Assistant Professor/Librarian at the El Paso Community College in El Paso, Texas. Oscar has been involved with the El Paso Public Library Association since 2010 and continues to be committed. He has worked for the college for 13 years and has vast knowledge of the library profession. Mr. Baeza holds a Masters in Library Science with a concentration in Academics and a Bachelor’s in Social Psychology concentration in Chicano/a Studies.
He is involved with several national and local organizations such as American Library Association (ALA, REFORMA, Texas Library Association, Texas Literacy Association and Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education. Oscar has presented at several conferences to include ALA conference in Anaheim, CA. 2012 and at the University of Arizona Tucson, AZ. 2010. Professor Baeza is a graduate of the ALA Emerging Leaders program class of 2010, a distinguished honor and training given to librarians waiting to emerge into leadership positions. Likewise, Oscar serves as a board member to the El Paso Area Library Consortium where he chairs the advisory committee on library training. Mr. Baeza is an activist, educator, community organizer and most important a husband and father.
Marielena Garza D’Vargas is the treasurer of EPPLA. She owns Seltec International Inc. and previously was a treasurer and city clerk for the city of Sunland Park. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Texas El Paso and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Latin American and Border Studies.