We had the good fortune of connecting with CJ Di Mento and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi CJ, what do you attribute your success to?
Because of my temperament as a young person, I constantly gave other people credit, thinking they were more intelligent, more talented, more of everything that I wasn’t. As I grew older, I realized that I was just as capable and talented as anyone else. It wasn’t until I became a Public Librarian that I realized what my true calling was. I inherently could envision people at their best and in an intentional way, worked to see where each of their powers lie and help them to develop those powers. It has really benefited me to see the best in others and want them to achieve their full potential. My work with the Oceanside Public Library, Oceanside Arts Commission and Oceanside CA Cultural District has been all about supporting community members, artists and creatives of all ages, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, races, ethnicities, and skill levels to do their work.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A Public Librarian career is more of a calling than a profession. You really have to believe in the fundamental right of every community member to be supported in their own version of success. You have to be resilient and resolved in your daily work, while seeing the systemic work that you can help to address. Libraries are living, breathing entities, always changing, and they have strong beliefs-dignity and equity for all, the extreme importance of education and educational opportunities, and the importance of community and community dialogue.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
I would of course refer them to Visit Oceanside at visitoceanside.org. Leslee and her team are the experts in visiting the ever-changing, active City. I would also have them check out oceansideculturaldistrict.org for a list of the amazing assets in the District, including the Oceanside Museum of Art and California Surf Museum, as well as a walk along the historic Pier, The site also has listings of events happening in the District where we are home to historic theaters, an Artists Alley, and the the local restaurants represent the best in culinary arts in California.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband Danny saw the best in me when I couldn’t see it for myself. He taught me that in fact seeing the best in others doesn’t mean that we have to see any less in ourselves. It’s not a competition. I feel very fortunate that his generous spirit and love has helped me feel very grounded which provides me great opportunity to be able to focus so much of my energy on working collectively with others in the community.
Website: oceansideculturaldistrict.org and oceansidepubliclibrary.org
Facebook: city of oceanside public library