The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association’s (APALA) Scholarships and Awards Committee is proud to announce Ariana Hussain as the 2014 Emerging Leader for the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. APALA will provide funding to support her attendance and participation in the Emerging Leaders program at the 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.
“I congratulate Ariana on being selected as APALA’s 2014 Emerging Leader,” says 2013-2014 APALA President Eugenia Beh. “Ariana joins a long list of participants from APALA, and very deservedly so. I am pleased that we are able to continue our support of the Emerging Leaders program, which has benefited so many of our members.”
Ariana has a long history of community, civic and public services ranging from involvements in grass roots groups to feed the hungry of the greater Los Angeles areas to participation in literacy programs such as The Talk Story Program, which reaches out to the Asian Pacific American and American Indian/Alaska Native children and their families. Her current position as a children’s librarian at the District of Columbia Public Library in Washington DC, includes many different kinds of civic engagements such as collaborations with the local Housing Authority/The office of Resident Services in outreach, programming and library awareness to at-risk youth.
Ariana writes, “I am an Indonesian-Japanese Muslim American public librarian, in a headscarf, working in a primarily African-American neighborhood branch library. Though I know that I do not represent the entire spectrum of diversity in the field, I do know that in appearance I am a bit of an anomaly… I entered the library field because of my interest and belief in the power of libraries, as well as to provide information and dispel misinformation. I thought that it would be empowering for the public to see a person who looks like me at their local level, that I may provide them an important service but also engage in casual interaction.”
According to Ariana, effective leadership is established through needs assessment, vision, planning, commitment, communication and accountability. She states, “Of these principles of leadership, I believe that effective leadership begins with needs assessment. There are the needs of the community, first and foremost, and the needs of those who are serving the community. As an effective leader, one needs to take into consideration both sets of needs in order to excel as a team and to receive buy-in from its stakeholders. Needs assessment also ensures that the community feels involved in the planning process and can voice their opinions.”
Ariana believes that every librarian working with the public has the opportunity to serve the community as a leader. She states, “It had not occurred to me that the role of leadership takes on many forms and that different roles are constantly being added to my work. I lead daily, whether it’s providing a book club or talking to our young adults and tweens, providing a space for them to become involved with the community and in their development. I encourage parents and caregivers to actively engage with their children to develop literacy skills.”
Ariana holds a BA in Political Science/History and a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of California, Los Angeles.