Nevada Library Association’s Librarian of the Year, 2016
Soraya Silverman-Montano, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District
Soraya Silverman-Montano is an amazing Nevada librarian. Her dedication towards moving libraries into the 21st century, and ensuring that children are given access to multiple literacies and opportunities for growth have made her a shining example of where youth services librarianship should be moving toward.
Over the past year she has worked to bring STEAM into all Las Vegas-Clark County young people’s libraries by:
- Coordinating the creation of library-exclusive Minecraft servers for all 25 of our libraries, including working with Information Technology to create the settings for the “library world” and training staff in every branch on how to use the game and best use it to create programming
- Working with the Library District Youth Services Coordinator to create STEAM kits for multiple ages that can travel from branch-to-branch, including pricing out the needed materials and ensuring that the STEAM kits are filled with materials that are age appropriate for Preschool, K-5, and Teens
- Planning monthly Mad Science programs for Summerlin Library, which have been incredibly successful and are loved by all participants as they get their hands dirty and learn about messy, exploding, gooey science
For the past several years Soraya has also been an active ALA member, specifically in the ALSC (Association for Library Services for Children) division.
- Soraya has served on several ALA committees, including the ALSC Local Arrangement Committee and the ALSC Organization and Bylaws Committee, and was recently on the ALSC Ballot for the New-to-ALSC Board Director position
- Through her work as an ALSC sponsored ALA Emerging Leader she worked with other librarians from around the country to create a calculator that would quantify all the things that youth services librarians do so that when presented with budget cuts, library districts could show in dollar amounts the value that libraries add to their communities
- Also through her work in ALSC, Soraya has become an integral part of Storytime Underground, an ALSC associated online social group of youth librarians that share programming and other tips with each other
Soraya is an active NLA member, and has most recently been a part of the NLA Conference Planning Committee. She also participates in many Southern District events, including the annual Best of the Best program where she has shared her STEAM programming with other librarians in NLA.
In addition to her STEAM programming, Soraya excels at other diverse programming for all ages.
- She is experienced at presenting story times that teach early literacy techniques to parents and caregivers
- She has as an excellent grasp of how to reach school aged children and engage them in a love of learning
- She is able to connect with teens and encourage them in library use
- Soraya is comfortable visiting schools, day care centers, and any other place she can go to visit with children and share what the library has to offer
- Soraya is also comfortable training adults, including the Minecraft training mentioned above and as a presenter at LEAP (Literacy Enrichment Activities for Preschoolers, a continuing education class for preschool teachers presented by the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District.)