Dr. Cristal Glangchai is an engineer, entrepreneur, and CEO of VentureLab. After seeing an inequality of women in the STEM fields, Cristal dreamed of a world where girls can develop their entrepreneurial skillset and allow them to be confident in their STEM abilities. Her new book, VentureGirls, is a powerful, practical call to action. Today, we share Cristal's experience with a great female role model: her mother, a librarian.
Whenever my mother brought us to work with her, it was magical. She was a librarian and headed the cataloging department at the Texas State University library—an extraordinary place, where my two sisters and I would roam free, following our curiosity wherever it would take us.
Some of my fondest, strongest memories are of times my mother took us to work with her—we would run through the halls of the library, with the smell of books in the air. Often, we would build a fort under her office desk—it was our own private hideaway where we could use our imaginations and transport ourselves anywhere that we desired. My mom would bring books of all genres for us to read; whether it was a book of fairy tales, the adventures of Robinson Caruso, or Huckleberry Finn. When she taught us the Dewey Decimal system, our world infinitely expanded—we could find the books we wanted to read ourselves. We would gaze up at the seemingly endless bookshelves, wanting to climb the ladders and read all of the books.
For my mother, no project was too difficult or too scary to tackle. In high school, I had a particularly tough research project in my social studies class. I had always been passionate about new technology and was currently interested in studying new methods for cleaning oil spills in our oceans. Without hesitation, my mother jumped right in to help me get the resources that I needed. She took me to the library and helped me navigate the stacks and the reference sections for research on nano-sponges and other micro-organisms that had the capability to soak up oil spills.
When I was older, my mother took on the challenge of writing a book, Conversations with Catalogers in the 21st Century, which encompassed the new role of catalogers in our increasingly digital society. I observed her tackle the work of organizing and writing the book in a fearless and confident manner. I still remember the pride that I felt in watching my mom receive her first printed copy and knowing that that her book would now be in her library and many more. Watching her ultimately inspired me to write VentureGirls.
Thanks, Cristal! VentureGirls is on sale May 8th, but you can get the egalley here.