Sonia Alcántara-Antoine

Daily Record Staff//May 9, 2023

Sonia Alcántara-Antoine

By Daily Record Staff

//May 9, 2023

Sonia Alcántara-Antoine

Baltimore County Public Library

What is your most significant accomplishment?

Most significantly it was achieving fine free status for Baltimore County Public Library cardholders and residents is a huge source of pride for me, particularly when I was able to advocate for that when I was so new — just a few months — into my tenure at Baltimore County Public Library. Late fines are a holdover from another time when people used libraries differently. We saw the negative impact that late fines were having on the people who needed their libraries the most. For the most vulnerable among us, late fines were catastrophic and cut off their access to the library because they could not afford to pay. We erased years of uncollected fines so people could reestablish a relationship with the public library with a clean slate. Immediately, we saw a third of previously blocked accounts restored and people started using their library cards again.

How have you mentored others?

I have mentored others informally for years. Libraries, in general, are not a diverse profession. That can be a barrier for people of color who aspire to leadership roles within libraries. In addition, it can be incredibly isolating when you are the “only one” in an organization or industry that does not look like you.  My story and my path are inspiring, particularly to young women of color. I work with mentees on leadership skills, how to navigate challenging situations, social and emotional leadership and general strategies for success.

This is an honoree profile from The Daily Record's Top 100 Women awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.


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