The Islander Family at Bell Library Welcomes Vanessa Claros

Posted: April 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM CDT

Meet Vanessa Claros, one of our newest library staff members, who began her position as Library Specialist II, Cataloging on March 11, 2019, as part of the Resource Management & Discovery Department.

Vanessa, her husband and their young daughter, Isabelle, age 20 months, recently set forth on a major move from Lawrenceville, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, all the way to Corpus Christi, Texas. To be exact, we are talking about a distance of well over 1,000 miles, and roughly about a 15-hour drive for her husband, who paved the way for his wife and daughter with necessary moving details in advance of their arrival. It was a bold move for them for sure, moving away from familiar territory and on to a new place they had never been to before. But taking it all in stride, allowing destiny, self-confidence, and a bit of life’s wisdom to help guide the way, Vanessa has found a new home, new job, and new colleagues in fairly quick succession.

Prior to the move, Vanessa worked at the Gwinnett County Public Library for more than four years.

The following is a brief conversation I had with Vanessa:

Question: How long have you been in Corpus Christi?

Vanessa: “I’ve been here since late December (2018).”

Question: How do you like Corpus Christi, so far?

Vanessa: “When my husband found out that we would be relocating to Corpus Christi as part of his military service, my first thought was, “Wow! That’s Selena’s home town! So I was instantly excited. I’m really liking it so far. It’s a change, for sure. I miss home, but this is my new home, and I am starting to get accustomed to it. I have explored different, famous landmarks in the city. It’s fascinating.”

Question: So, you mentioned to me that you actually had your first encounter with the Islanders Basketball team, just by chance, on your flight to Corpus Christi. Can you elaborate?

Vanessa: “My husband drove from Lawrenceville (Georgia) to Corpus Christi, so he wasn’t with us for the flight. And any mom knows that traveling with a toddler is challenging. You have to bring all the necessary gear with you, such as a stroller, diaper bag, toys, stuffed animals, and one very active little girl in my case. But it just so happened that two members of the Islanders Basketball team came to my rescue! Isabelle was tired from the long flight and in the process of throwing an understandable tantrum, when two of the team members took notice of the situation and graciously helped me to quickly gather all my belongings to board the flight. After that first chance encounter, I decided to Google the Islanders, having noticed their Islander gear. I told my husband about the interaction, and he suggested that I seek employment opportunities at the university library, given my background working in libraries. And here I am!”

Question: How do you feel about the transition from a public library setting to an academic library?

Vanessa: “I am enjoying it. What I miss the most about working at a public library is the interactions with customers. I loved engaging in conversations with them about their families, their favorite authors, and upcoming books. As a Library Specialist II in Cataloging, I serve the Library in another capacity, and I am learning so much. The campus is beautiful, and there are so many activities! Last week, I got to experience the Parade of Nations, and it was amazing. I got to eat my lunch while listening to a live Mariachi band. I felt so lucky.”

Question: So you’ve been at your new position for about 3 weeks. How do you like it so far?

Vanessa: “I like it so far. It can be a little overwhelming, but change is good. I am enjoying the investigative nature about the job. My dream job has always been to be a homicide detective. And while I am not interrogating suspects or searching for leads, I get to search for authority records and match them to the correct bibliographic record. It’s similar, in a way.”

On the personal side, Vanessa has been a dedicated vegetarian for many years. Among other things, she thoroughly enjoys the breakfast tacos she discovered here in a few of the local restaurants. She tells me that back in Georgia, burritos are the most popular brunch-type item.

Question: What inspired you to become a vegetarian?

Vanessa: “I do it for humane reasons. I love animals, and I have been a vegetarian for twelve years now.”

She also enjoys crafting, and binge watching “Investigation Discovery”, a television network that features episodes about true crime.

Having an interest in homicide detective work, Vanessa enjoys reading non-fiction, true crime books. To conclude this introduction to our new Library Specialist II, Cataloging, the following are a few titles she recommends:

Blood of Emmett Till book coverThe Blood of Emmett Till
by Timothy B. Tyson.
Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Location: Main - 2nd Floor
Call Number: HV6465.M7 T97 2017


13 Hours book cover13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi
by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team.
Publisher: Twelve, Hachette Book Group, 2014.
Location: Main - 2nd Floor
Call Number: HV6433.L75 Z83 2014


My Story: Elizabeth Smart book coverMy Story: Elizabeth Smart
by Elizabeth Smart with Chris Stewart.
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2014.


Hope: A Memoir of Survival in ClevelandHope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland
by Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus with Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan.
Publisher: Penguin Books, 2016.


All-American Murderer book coverAll-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez, the Superstar Whose Life Ended on Murderers' Row
by James Patterson, Alex Abramovich, with Mike Harvkey.
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2018.


Murder Beyond the Grave book coverMurder Beyond the Grave
by James Patterson.
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing, 2018.


Laura Martinez, Cataloging Services Coordinator/Librarian


By: Laura Martinez

Category: Hello, from the Staff