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Meet the Library: Rocío

By Karla Ortiz

Rocío del Carmen is the operations manager of the Public Library, but like most people, she has had a goal that helped her get where she is today. Since she was young, Rocío was passionate about her studies and worked diligently. Like many scholarship holders from the library, she asked for support and managed to receive it during her elementary, secondary, college preparatory, and university training. For her, it was not easy to reach her current position. She went through a series of jobs, which helped her in her professional and personal growth.

Rocío wanted to study at the Universidad Autónoma Querétaro because, with her grade point average, she could be accepted directly without having to take an exam. Unfortunately, due to events beyond her control, she lost the record and had to look elsewhere for her schooling. Someone mentioned the Universidad Lasallista Benavente in Celaya to her, and she was accepted there. After completing her studies, she spent six months resting from her hard work as a student. During this time, Rocío realized that she needed to continue growing by finding out where to develop hers skills and continuing to learn. She worked for a short time in an Internet company in San Miguel, where she learned about web design, graphic design, and networks. Rocio left this job with a lot of knowledge and good connections, which she still maintains because to her, it’s very important to keep relationships intact.

Later, she took a position in an architect’s office, where her job was to make everything “a combo,” recalled Rocío. She learned to wear many hats in a variety of areas that have greatly helped her in her current work. She was in charge of administration, managed personnel, and did logistical work: payroll, the technological part, including email, equipment maintenance, and intranet network, as well as working with suppliers. “It was a small company, but we maintained everything,” said Rocío. She stayed for five years with this company. When a strong crisis hit the real estate market in the US, the work fell off because many of the firm’s clients were foreign partners with very large projects. Despite all this, she continued to do equipment maintenance, worked with consultants to buy computer equipment, and gave private classes. While searching for independent work, she found an Internet job maintaining web pages and designs. At the same time, she was able to find a position managing apartments because she had the knowledge of personnel and customer and supplier management and was able to give personal attention to customers (especially foreigners). Rocío also did the technological part. She worked at this job for six years and then decided to leave on good terms.

In her struggle to be independent, Rocío found small jobs that helped her to become a designer for the Guanajuato International Film Festival, and she designed publicity for local media. However, she never neglected her existing web design clients and still maintains equipment and advises them. That was where most of the movement of customers had come from, and it was something she didn’t want to neglect.

Rocío began to develop her own projects in web design, graphic design, maintenance of equipment, and consultancies. At that time she was more relaxed at work and had more time because she didn’t have an established schedule.

Rocío was always anxious to repay everything that the library give to her and to see how she could help there. Someone told her there was a vacancy on the Biblioteca board of directors. The schedule appealed to her because she didn’t take much time for the sporadic meetings and move on to other project. Her first contact was Sandra Suaste, who arranged an interview with Ali Zerriffi. In her interview, he asked the key question, “Why did you make the decision to approach the library?”

Rocío responded, “Because my main objective is to support and give a little help to the institution that supported me to finish my career and to be where I am. I’m really grateful.”

After approaching as a volunteer, the library offered her the position in operations management—coordinating the different operational groups of the library: The Santa Ana Theater, the House & Garden Tour, the Bodega de Sorpresas (white elephant sale), Tesoros (shop), the library, Atención San Miguel—basically to handle the operative part, verify that everything is operating correctly, and determine which aspects need more attention to maintain financial stability of the library as these funds are used for scholarships and workshops.

Rocío is passionate about interacting with people. She is proud to be part of the library team and to work with so many people who have the disposition to expand the library and all of its projects.

One of the challenges that Rocío has in her area is to keep the legal documentation in order and up-to-date and to keep track of authorized donations because many of the donors require tax deductible receipts.

Within Rocío’s current goals for the Biblioteca, one is to transform the entire digital system to boost the growth of the library through networks and to advance to another level by creating a platform for each of the different mini-companies within the Biblioteca purview. Another is to reach out to the world and find more donations from the Internet and be able to do online fundraising and promote fellows.

Working in the library has been one of the best experiences of Rocío’s life. She describes it as mystical and magical: “being surrounded by big projects and helping children and young people to excel is very important, [and so is] being able to guide and support them to be professionals and successful people.”

Rocío expressed her support to all the fellows, wishing them success despite how difficult the studies may be, and reminding them to never give up and keep fighting to realize the goal that each one has, to finish a university degree.

“I want to thank the community of the library for this reception and friendship and support over the years. Working together means a lot. Above all I thank each member of the library for the confidence you have given me. Continue with this, give it all, because the library is a great project, and it belongs to everyone,” Rocío concluded.


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