Rebecca Yoonhee Martin is currently working as the Assistant Circulation Supervisor & Faculty Liaison at Boston University’s Pappas Law Library. She focuses on interlibrary loan and document delivery for law school faculty and administration and helps to oversee the access services department.
One of the wonderful things about the member highlights is the opportunity to celebrate the diversities within APALA.
I grew up in a mixed race family, with half-Korean and half-Scottish ethnic heritage. My mother is first-generation Korean-American, but my father’s family has been in this country many years with a deep cultural connection to his home state of Texas. I grew up in Boston with my parents and half-sister, where the kitchen was usually filled with smells of BBQ – both Korean and Texan!
Rebecca attended Rutgers University as a distance student and finished her studies there in winter 2011, concentrating on digital libraries and taking a great interest in the intersection of technology and social change. She tells us how she is thinking about moving forward in the profession.
As a recent LIS graduate, I’m still considering different professional routes. However, through my work at Community Change, Inc., I’ve found I greatly enjoy using my reference and research skills in a non-traditional learning setting – those that tend to elicit more situations of applied research, rather than just academic scholarship. Still, through my academic library experiences, I am exploring and learning how best to use library services and programs to foster civil and social engagement among student users.
I dedicate much of my free time to library work as well: I am an active member of the Boston Radical Reference Collective and serve as the Library Coordinator of the Yvonne Pappenheim Library on Anti-Racism at Community Change, Inc. Through my work at the Pappenheim Library, I presented with a group of colleagues on racism and its manifestations on the Internet at JCLC. I am also an Editorial Board member of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table Newsletter (SRRT), http://www.ala.org/srrt/.
I became an APALA member in 2011, while I was about half-way through my MLIS degree. I joined initially because, as an online student, I wanted to ensure that I had nearly all the same networking and mentoring opportunities as my on-campus counterparts. I wanted to find a community of practitioners who could provide mentorship and support as I entered the LIS professional community. Since joining, I have had the great pleasure of meeting several APALA members in-person, many at JCLC, and have strengthened online collaboration with others.
I currently serve on the APALA Publicity Committee and have contributed to the APALA Newsletter as well. One of my favorite APALA projects is the What’s Your Normal? series. I very much look forward to each entry and getting to know about the perspectives, interests and experiences of APALA members past their professional identities.
See Rebecca’s article, White Screen/White Noise: Racism on the Internet, pp. 10-11 in the APALA Newsletter, Winter 2013.
Article compiled, written, and edited by Charlene Hsu Gross, in cooperation with Rebecca Yoonhee Martin.
Edited, 1/29/2013 for duplicated content.
Edited, 12/06/2017: At the request of Rebecca Martin, the term hapa kolea was removed from the article. It had been part of the first paragraph where Rebecca talked about her mixed race family. Regarding her request to remove the phrase, she writes: “I feel, have learned, and know it is cultural appropriation for me to use this Hawaiian term which previously had been used widely by the mixed race community, but has become a term I do not think I should be using anymore.” Thank you, Rebecca. ~ Melissa I. Cardenas-Dow, chair, APALA Task Force on Intersectionality