Jessica Redhouse currently works as a Program Collaborator in Residence with the Many Nations Team, opens a new window providing consultation to increase the Indigenous authors, artists, and performers at the Tucson Festival of Books, opens a new window and to provide literacy outreach to Native communities in Pima County. She has served in many different roles for PCPL since she completed her Knowledge River, opens a new window Graduate Assistantship in 2014.
We were happy to sit down with Jessica to learn more about the work she's doing at the Library.
What is your role as a Program Collaborator in Residence?
As I did before becoming a Program Collaborator in Residence, I am continuing to work with the Many Nations Team to support their effort in providing literacy outreach to Native communities in Pima County. In addition, I am providing consultation to increase the Indigenous authors, artists, and performers at the Tucson Festival of Books in the Nuestras Raíces, opens a new window and Many Nations, opens a new window tent.
Folks can find all that we'll be offering at the Festival, by visiting their website!
What interested you in this job?
This job combines several things that I am passionate about. I am able to work with the Many Nations Team and find new ways to bring more of the library’s services to the Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui communities through the Festival of Books.
What is the best part of being a PCR?
I am very grateful for the flexible work schedule and team of supervisors that are willing to accommodate me caring for my toddler. I can easily attend Microsoft Teams meetings with him playing in the background, or find an hour or two to work on a project during his naptime or after bed. Because this is a new position, I feel like we are all working together to find out what works and how we can best utilize our time.
How did you become involved in this type of work?
Before becoming a Program Collaborator in Residence, I had many years of experience working for PCPL and being a Many Nations team member. This opportunity to work as a PCR fit naturally with the work I was doing and allows me to gain new experience with the Tucson Festival of Books.
What are you most excited for in The Festival of Books next year?
I am very excited about the diverse selection of authors coming this year. With Many Nations teaming up with Nuestras Raíces for our first TFOB event, we were able to get Indigenous authors and performers, in addition to well known and loved Latinx authors, performers, and artists.
What do you wish that more people knew about the library?
That the resources available and the knowledge of the staff are endless. PCPL works very hard to meet the needs of the community and to help each individual that comes through the doors, uses online services, or calls.
Do you have a favorite library memory or experience?
I have a lot of happy memories teaching crafts at the library. It started as pop-up crafts for kids during the summer and became a weekly Fiber Crafts program at Valencia Library. I taught sewing, knitting, and crafting of every kind. I loved problem solving and finding ways to fix and make new things on the spot with anyone that walked in. I was also able to modify the class into a monthly STEM program for kids at the Tohono O’odham After School Program at the San Xavier Education Center.
What are your favorite books?
As a parent, my adult reading choices have been limited, but a new love for children’s literature has taken its place. There are several authors and books that are very special to me because of the happiness they bring my son. Some of our favorite authors are Raffi, Kevin Lewis, Richard Van Camp and Anna Dewdney.