Adrian’s OPL resume:
Library Aide | April 2002 – August 2005
Clerk II | August 2005 – April 2007
Library Specialist | April 2007- April 2014
Immigrant & Refugee Services Coordinator | April 2014 – Current
Adrian Gómez Meza began work at Omaha Public Library as a high school junior. Over time he climbed the ranks, and in April was promoted from library specialist to immigrant and refugee services coordinator at the brand new Community Engagement Center on the University of Nebraska Omaha campus.
Gómez Meza was born in Tenamaxtlán, Jalisco in México, where he lived until his parents moved his family to Omaha at age 15. He was promptly enrolled in school, and with this deduced the move was permanent. “I’m not going to lie, it was scary at first not knowing anybody or even the language, but we made it work. Now having been in Omaha for almost 14 years, I’ve grown to like it and I know that my parents made the right decision to move here.”
A mix of necessity and passion inspired Gómez Meza’s decision to work for a public library. “When I first visited a library in Omaha, I realized that it was very different from the one back home… It had more than just books and it also had books in Spanish,” he said. In high school, a friend alerted Gómez Meza to an opening at South Omaha Library. He applied and got the job. “I thought this job was going to be temporary, but I quickly learned that there was a huge need for Hispanics and other minorities to work in this field. So after a few years of working for the library and with the encouragement from some of my coworkers and manager, I decided to change my major and pursue a degree in library science. I love the way libraries can make a great impact in people’s lives and can be instrumental in improving the lives of those who we serve.”
Gómez Meza was asked to join two other Omaha Public Library staff members in an exciting new venture at the Community Engagement Center on the UNO campus. The brand new building is dedicated to a likewise new collaboration aimed at strengthening relationships and allowing them to collaborate with students, faculty and other organizations.
When asked why immigrant and refugee services are important to Omaha, Gómez Meza has firsthand experience that lends to his answer. “By offering services that are relevant to immigrants and refugees, [OPL] will facilitate their transition into Omaha. This is important because not only does the Library make immigrants and refugees feel welcome, but it is also able to connect them to resources and programs that can help them thrive in their new communities.”
A book that has changed your life: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Favorite thing about Omaha: Henry Doorly Zoo
Something about him that very few people know:He’s in a Mexican folkloric dance group, Xiotal
Favorite Omaha “hidden gem”: Malcolm X birthsite
Hidden talent: Dancing
Favorite place in the world: Tulum [Mexico]