The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) has hired two community liaisons, Maria Aguilar and Jessica McDaniel, to assist with outreach to the Latinx and African American communities. The new positions were approved as part of the library’s strategic plan adopted in early 2019. The plan, which is effective through 2022, describes the library system’s mission, core values, and vision while also identifying goal areas where CALS will direct its energy and resources over the next several years.

“We’re dedicated to helping all people fulfill their needs and reach their full potential,” said David Stricklin, Director of Strategic Partnerships & Community Engagement. “Jessica and Maria have already proven themselves invaluable members of our team, working to remove barriers that might limit communication and access to library services and resources.”

Aguilar is the Community Liaison for the Latinx community. She has resided in Arkansas since 2005 and has been active within the Latinx community, particularly the Mexican population. She was previously the Community Outreach Specialist for the Department of Community Affairs at the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock. In this role she supervised the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ programs in the areas of education, health, and economic development in Arkansas, and parts of Oklahoma and Tennessee. She is active with the “Working Together in the Community” initiative to improve the conditions and services of minority individuals in Little Rock. Aguilar has a bachelor’s degree in international business from the University of Guanajuato.

McDaniel is the Community Liaison for the African American community. She has been a Little Rock resident for more than a decade. She is an active CALS patron and looks forward to helping the library become a more diverse and inclusive service provider to central Arkansas residents. McDaniel has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Jackson State University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The CALS strategic plan outlines seven organizational goals in the areas of (1) Extending Community Connections, (2) Services and Collections, (3) Facilities and Spaces, (4) Resource Allocation and Integration, (5) Public Awareness and Marketing, (6) Resource Development, and (7) Organizational Culture. Visit CALS.org to view the strategic plan.