Carlos on the Value of Mentoring & Networking
Carlos Andrés Pagán is the Foreign, Comparative and International law librarian and a lecturer at Boston University School of Law.
Why did you join AALL?
I joined AALL in 2014 while enrolled in library school at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). At the time, I was already a lawyer and was interested in joining a national law librarianship association. I was also influenced in my decision by the late Pedro Padilla-Rosa, former head of the Foreign and International Law department at the UPR School of Law’s library. Pedro was truly a wonderful loving person who gained a vast amount of experience in multiple professional organizations (AALL, SEAALL, ACURIL, IALL, among others). His involvement and leadership in these groups greatly benefitted the UPR, helping it to provide better services to their patrons. He inspired me to get involved in AALL. Sadly, Pedro passed away in 2014 but his contributions to the field live on.
Why do you stay a member?
Overall, I am an AALL member to keep connected with the law librarianship community. It is a great way to meet our cool and amazing librarians nationwide. I am also fortunate to have two outstanding mentors, both who have had significant leadership roles in AALL. First, Femi Cadmus, the Edward Cornell Law Librarian, Associate Dean for Library Services, and Professor of Practice at Cornell Law School, and Ron E. Wheeler, Jr., Director of the Fineman & Pappas Law Libraries and Associate Professor of Law and Legal Research at Boston University School of Law. I will be eternally grateful to Femi for giving me my first work opportunity as a law librarian and for motivating me to get involved in AALL special interest sections and communities. Ron, my current boss, continuously encourages me to seek opportunities to develop myself professionally. I constantly seek both their advice and guidance on a wide array of topics. They have had a huge influence on me and I want to follow their examples in contributing time and efforts to the association. Finally, yet importantly, my membership helps me remain current in the profession and aware of new developments.
What one membership benefit is most valuable to you?
Honestly, there are way too many I have used during the course of my three-year membership, ranging from career services to having access to teaching materials. I particularly treasured being a member of the Foreign, Comparative, International Librarians Special Interest Section and the Latino Caucus.
What is your favorite memory associated with AALL?
I have a couple, all related to the 2017 Austin conference. First, participating in CONELL and meeting so many wonderful people there. Second, listening to Bryan Stevenson as he delivered the keynote speech on criminal justice system reform. Third, attending the many receptions (PEGA-SIS Social, SR-SIS Standing Committee on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Reception) and events (e.g., Fastcase suite).
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Running, going out to social gatherings, the gym, plays and dance clubs. I am definitely not a homebody. I also travel a lot. Currently, I spend my weekends discovering new places to visit in the New England coast, such as Cape Cod, the Maine coastline, etc.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski; Christian Human Rights by Samuel Moyn; and La catedral del mar by Ildefonso Falcones.
What’s your favorite travel/vacation destination?
Probably, Sitges, Catalonia. I lived and studied in Barcelona and I would often go there on the weekends. It was tons of fun and even though I have not been back there in a while, it always comes to mind when I think about travel!