March 22, 2018

Leslie Monsalve-Jones | Movers & Shakers 2005

Don’t Settle


Leslie Monsalve-Jones is a library technician with the New Mexico State Library, responsible for claiming documents that state agencies don’t submit. “This requires that I play daily detective for the depository system,” she says. She also maintains the collection and can immediately track down any requested document. Monica Kirby, director of the Spanish Peaks Library District, Walsenburg, CO, says, “Her MLS coworkers come to her when they can’t find a document, or just ask her for the call number.”

In short, she’s the kind of worker whose price is above rubies but whose pay is slightly above pebbles. And she doesn’t believe paraprofessionals should settle for that.

Monsalve-Jones had gotten a taste for organizing earlier, when REFORMA of New Mexico, which was in decline, asked her to become its president. She produced a newsletter, held meetings, and planned programs for the New Mexico Library Association (NMLA) annual conference. She was so effective that in April 2001, she was asked to resurrect NMLA’s Paraprofessional Group. By October 2001, she’d gotten library support staff from across the state to meet and within a year had attracted over 160 members.

At the American Library Association (ALA) 2003 Annual Conference, Monsalve-Jones represented support staff so well that she now serves on the ALA Pay Equity committee and ALA Council.

Pay is not the only issue that concerns Monsalve-Jones. “The lack of continuous training in our field is very unfortunate,” she says.

Meanwhile, Monsalve-Jones is pursuing her library technology degree, even knowing it may not lead to a raise. Kirby says Monsalve-Jones won’t waste time complaining. “When Leslie recognizes an inequality, she just tries to figure out how she might effect change.”



Current Position Library Technician, New Mexico State Library, Santa Fe student Santa Fe Community College

Participation President of REFORMA of New Mexico, ALA Library Support Staff Interest Round Table, ALA Pay Equity Committee, New Mexico Library Association, New Mexico Paraprofessional Group