Méndez holds a BA in history with a minor in English from Florida International University in Miami and a master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Alabama, where she had an Institute of Museum and Library Studies (IMLS) Fellowship. Until 2017, she served as the Interim Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection and Librarian Associate Professor at the University of Miami, Coral Gables. More recently, she served as program officer for the Boston Library Consortium and then project manager for the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust. Méndez curated many exhibitions from the Cuban Heritage Collection’s special collections and has published articles and spoken at conferences on library studies, collections and exhibit planning, collaborative instruction, and mentorship.