By Grace Ramsey
George Deukmjian is Governor of California. The NASA space shuttle Discovery is going back into orbit, after 3 years without a launch. The cold war is coming to its’ last years, resolution is coming. It’s September 1988. While all this was happening around the world, Diana Navarro-Kleinschmidt’s life was just starting.
Scanning books, renting out study rooms and buzzing all over the library, Navarro-Kleinschmidt moves swiftly and makes sure to help anyone and everyone who is in need.
For three decades, Navarro-Kleinschmidt has been the “anti-librarian” librarian. The stereotypicall bland, harsh and uptight grandmother figure has never been her vibe. She became a fixture at Las Positas 17 years ago with a bright, fun and warm personality.
She isn’t the security guard for the sanctity of the library, but the protector of positivity. Her upbeat and friendly personality, her customer service approach to aiding students, vacuums out the stuffiness one might expect in a library.
That is why, after 30 years in the district, her legacy is caring about the students more than the setting, the brains more than the books. As a result, she has helped craft a library that is really not like a library, but a learning lounge.
A generation of students have gotten the benefit of a modern library because of Navarro-Kleinschmidt. This campus has a library that is a productive hub for Millennials.
“I can’t do my job without Diana. She is fabulous. She always knows who to go to and what to do when things need to get done,” said Tina Inzerilla, Library Coordinator. “She is always positive and upbeat. The library would never want to be without her.”
Navarro-Kleinschmidt has been at Las Positas since 2001 moving from Chabot. However she started her librarian career at Chabot in 1988 only a year after she graduated high school.
She didn’t know much about LPC but once she started she immediately fell in love with the campus and her co-workers. The greenery, the community and the students were enough to get her hooked.
“This is a lovely campus. It’s so pretty. I work with the best people. There is so much energy on this campus,” said Navarro-Kleinschmidt. “I love the atmosphere. The students are great here, even though sometimes I have to shut everyone up.”
Along with helping the students of LPC, she has hired many international students as student assistants. The students typically stay 2-3 years till they leave LPC. Since students are far from home she makes sure they feel like family. In the past, she’s had parties for some of them on holidays to make sure they weren’t alone.
To make everyone feel included, she gets there in the morning at 7 A.M. so that the library is up and running. She is the first person that students see in the morning if they’re coming to the library.
“It’s important to be friendly because it starts a person’s day off,” said Navarro-Kleinschmidt.
Navarro-Kleinschmidt has been prepping for her career as a librarian since she was 10-years-old. She recalls her dad would take the family to get books. She would make library check out cards for her books, and even stamp them.