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Love of reading, tribe’s children inspire library staff

Cecilia Vickers (Courtesy photo)

In recognition of National Library Week, which takes place April 23-29, Padmini Dukharan, the tribalwide library program supervisor, asked library staff to write about their work and interactions with the tribe’s children.

The following are submissions from Dinorah M. Johns, a library catalog processor on the Brighton Reservation; Claudia Doctor, a library assistant on the Big Cypress Reservation; Cecelia Vickers, a library assistant on the Hollywood Reservation; and Dolores Lopez, a library assistant at the Diane Yzaguirre Memorial Library on the Immokalee Reservation. The responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Dinorah M. Johns

“My name is Dinorah, but everyone knows me as Dino. I am going on my eighth year as a full-time employee at the Billy Osceola Memorial Library, located on the Brighton Reservation. I am responsible for cataloging all of your favorite books. I am here to serve the Seminole communities with love and compassion for all and to help foster a love of reading.

It is my hope to inspire our youth to read and learn about their history, learn new vocabulary, and to grow in order to teach others about the importance of reading and acquiring new knowledge. Reading will take you to more places than you can ever imagine. It is true what they say, ‘readers are leaders.’

Your community libraries house a great deal of Native American history books to include a wealth of literature on the Seminole Tribe and so much more. Your community library is more than just books. We also offer a host of technology to help you meet your learning goals. Technology access is free, but does require a library card. In addition, we offer a monthly calendar, which keeps the community informed of all events and activities. Please come by to see us to pick up your library card and get an opportunity to travel to new and exotic places, without ever leaving your comfy chair.”

My favorite quote: “I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card. Priceless.” – Laura Bush

Claudia C. Doctor

“Hello, my name is Claudia C. Doctor and I’ve been the library assistant at the Willie Frank Memorial Library in Big Cypress for 30 years. One main reason I enjoy working at the library is the interaction and impact I have with children. Being  a library assistant, it builds a unique sense of comfort for the community and molds young readers. As the popular quote stated, ‘readers are leaders.’”

Cecelia Vickers

“Hello, my name is Cecelia Vickers and I’ve been a library assistant at the Dorothy Scott Osceola Memorial Library on the Hollywood Reservation for six years. One of the main reasons I love working at the library is the interaction that I have with the children. Story time is my favorite. Bringing a book to life for a child and watching their eyes light up is the best. Gifting the love of reading to a child is for a lifetime.

It’s wonderful when a child returns to the library remembering the stories read to them when they were in preschool, laughing and reflecting on the storyline.  It’s even better when they request to have their very own library card to check out books they are interested in. Most of all I love working in the library because it helps build community and is a place to connect, learn and grow.”

Dolores Lopez

“Hello, my name is Dolores Lopez and I have been the library assistant at the Diane Yzaguirre  Memorial Library on the Immokalee Reservation for 10 years. I have experienced the joy of learning the inner workings of this library from the ground up. One of the main reasons I enjoy working at the library is the interactions and relationships that have been built among the years with all the children. It brings me joy to know that they look forward to coming to the library for activities and programs.”

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Claudia C. Doctor (Courtesy photo)
Dinorah M. Johns (Courtesy photo)
Dolores Lopez (Courtesy photo)
Damon Scott
Damon is a multimedia journalist for the Seminole Tribune. He has previously been an editor and reporter for digital and print media in Florida and his home state of New Mexico. Send him an email at