March 17, 2018

Bob Diaz | Movers & Shakers 2002

Diversity and Dedication

University of Arizona librarian, president of the Tucson County-Pima Library Board

For Bob Diaz, being a librarian is more than a career. It is a calling. “Librarians in this country are at the forefront of social and cultural change,” says Diaz. “Our world is getting smaller and smaller, and we need to continue to provide people with the tools they will need to live and work in an increasingly multicultural world.”

Throughout his life and career, Diaz has been a tireless champion of diversity and democracy, earning him a national reputation as a leader and garnering accolades, from professional recognition to a personal thank you from one of Diaz’s heroes, labor leader César Chávez. As a librarian, Diaz knows that knowledge is power. And as a librarian, Diaz has worked tirelessly to bring the experiences of all people to light, not only through his work at the University of Arizona but also as a three-year member, and now president, of the Tucson-Pima Public Library board.


Current position: Librarian, Fine Arts & Humanities team, University of Arizona Library, Tucson

Degree: MLS, University of Arizona, 1986

Activities: Cesar Chavez, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi

Diaz says he didn’t actively seek out a role on the library board, but once the opportunity found him, it was a chance he couldn’t resist. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to do community service in an area that is near and dear to me,” Diaz says. “I was born and raised here in Tucson and have been a user of the public library virtually all my life.” As president, Diaz says he will work with Library Director Agnes Griffen, as well as other board members, to ensure that the information needs of the entire community are met.

“I make it a point to be an advocate for the socioeconomically disadvantaged population in our community,” Diaz says proudly. “Librarians need to continue our efforts to provide free and easily accessible materials to our public that reflect the life experiences of all people,” he says. “We need to be defenders of freedom of expression. And as a profession, we need to develop leaders who are culturally sensitive and who are willing to battle racism, sexism, and homophobia in the workplace.”