Texas Highlights


We missed out on joining together in San Antonio, TX. Here's a spotlight on the pioneering work of Texas library professionals.

Innovative Approaches to EDI in Texas Libraries

Main Stage Session
Sunday, January 23, 10:45 am - 12:00 pm, CT

As the saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” The Lone Star state is home to 29 million people, three of the largest cities in the U.S, and has one of the highest diversity indexes in the country.  It is a state steeped in tradition but building for the future and navigating all the challenges and opportunities that come with growth. Academic, school and public libraries across Texas are rising to the challenge. Join us as library leaders share their innovative approaches to meeting the needs of their diverse communities.

From left, Tamiko Brown, Dean Hendrix, Moderator: Patricia "Patty" Wong
From left, Shirley Robinson, Ramiro Salazar, Moderator: Tracie D. Hall

> See more about the panelists.


Being a Queer Librarian in Texas: Expectation vs. Reality

Monday, January 24, 2022, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm, CT

In this panel discussion, presented by the ALA Rainbow Round Table, participants will hear from LGBTQIA+ librarians working in various types of libraries and communities across Texas. Panelists will discuss their experiences compared to the public assumption of being an out, queer professional in a southern, mostly conservative state.

From left, Israel Favela, Nancy Jo Lambert
From left, Steph Noell, Moderator: Dr. Arro Smith



Israel Favela – Collection Development and Cataloging Manager, Houston Public Library, Houston TX

Israel Favela (he/him/his) has worked in Circulation Services, Collection Development, Library Branch Management, and is currently the Collection Development and Cataloging Manager at the Houston Public Library. He has also served as chair of the Latino Caucus and Queers & Allies Round Tables at the Texas Library Association where he is currently a member on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Apart from his work in libraries, Israel also serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Chinquapin Preparatory School, a co-ed boarding school for motivated youth from historically excluded communities.

Nancy Jo Lambert – Librarian, Reedy High School, Frisco, TX

Nancy Jo Lambert (she/her/hers) is a Google for Education Certified Trainer and public high school teacher-librarian. She is a speaker advocating for libraries by telling the story of the learning happening in her library. She holds positions in the Texas Library Association, Texas Computer Education Association, American Library Association, American Association of School Librarians, and the Texas Association of School Librarians. She has been published in professional journals and won numerous awards and grants and was named TCEA Library Media Specialist of the Year the American Association of School Librarians Social Media Superstar Curriculum Champion in 2019. She is co-founder of EduPrideAlliance.org #TeachPride and a #FReadom organizer. She is known for sharing her professional work on Twitter @NancyJoLambert and her website nancyjolambert.com.

Steph Noell – Special Collections Librarian, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio. TX

Steph Noell (they/them) has been an academic librarian for 9 years and has worked in higher education for 20 years. They are currently the Special Collections Librarian at the University of Texas at San Antonio where they manage the special collections instruction program as well as a rare books collection of more than 28,000 titles. Throughout their career, they have supported their LGBTQIA+ campus community by making their office a Safe Zone, volunteering as a mentor for the Student-Faculty Pride Association, and ensuring that the collections they manage represent the spectrum of student identities.

Moderated by:

Arro Smith – Library Division Manager - Technical Services, San Marcos Public Library, San Marcos, TX

Dr. Arro Smith (he/him/his) has been a public librarian since 1990 in San Marcos, Texas. (And he’s been out at work since 1991.) His "Capturing Our Stories: An Oral History of Librarianship in Transition" was published by the American Library Association in 2017.

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