February 17, 2018

Bernadette Salgado | Movers & Shakers 2010 – Advocates

Library Journal March 15, 2010: Bernadette Salgado, Mover & Shaker

School Booster

The City of SeaTac, WA, is so ethnically diverse that at the Valley View Library, “You peer over at the computers and see children, teens, and adults from Somalia, Ethiopia, India, Samoa, and Mexico interacting,” says Bernadette Salgado, children’s section supervisor of the King County Library System. SeaTac is also a city where nearly 75 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and many kids don’t start the school year with proper supplies. Three years ago, Salgado and the director of the local Family Resource Center decided to do something about it. Their brainchild: an annual late-summer fair that would give out free supplies to kick off the school year.

The most recent SeaTac Back-to-School Resource Fair provided kids with 800 supply-filled backpacks, while also offering them free health screenings, haircuts, hygiene products, and lunch. Also thanks to Salgado’s efforts, a mobile library booth and computer training center distributed “Hello Packets” printed in several languages, with library cards and other learning goodies (like pad folios with built-in calculators) and info about free tutoring. This summer, Salgado’s committee is aiming to give out 1300 backpacks.

“It didn’t take a lot of money per se to make this happen,” says Salgado. While the library donates many books to the effort, corporate and community sponsors range from Jansport, which gives the backpacks, to the organization World Vision, which contributed ,000 for supplies last year.

Salgado credits her passion for outreach and social service to growing up with five siblings and two financially stretched parents who “gave when giving should have been the hardest thing for them.”


Bernadette Salgado, King County Library System, WA

CURRENT POSITION Children’s Section Supervisor

DEGREE MLIS, University of Washington, Seattle, 1996


DREAM INVENTION A device, as small as an iPod, that instantly translates someone’s words into another language, to aid with patron requests