MIAMI, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–February 25, 2003–Fulfilling their role as providers of books and services to all patrons in their communities, libraries are not only diversifying collections and increasing Spanish-language acquisitions, they’re also scheduling a broader variety of programs in Spanish. Supporting their efforts, Spanish Audios, a division of Florida-based publisher Taller del Éxito, developed an outreach program based on the “In Search of the American Dream” seminar by author Dr. Camilo Cruz.
In addition to providing an inspirational message in Spanish on reaching personal and professional goals, the seminar also attracts an audience of new patrons and introduces them to the libraries’ books, cassettes, videos and services. The seminar explores what the American Dream looks like for the Hispanics today. How do participants define their goals? How can they benefit from others’ experiences to build thriving families and careers?
Dr. Cruz believes that many Hispanics don’t give themselves enough credit for all that they’ve already risked and accomplished. He promotes the idea that people can achieve successful, fulfilling lives regardless of their circumstances. Describing his arrival in the US in 1980, he recounts how he used local libraries to research universities, accreditations, and other support systems.
Diana Morales from Carnegie Library in Houston says, “In over 20 years of working in libraries and being involved in programming, I have not attended a Spanish program in which an adult audience was so captivated. People commented that we should have more programs of this type particularly in Spanish. His message that anyone can triumph is a timely one.” Libraries have responded to these requests by offering Spanish story-times, poetry, film and book clubs. Educational programs include computer, parenting and citizenship classes.
Even with decreased budgets and increasing workloads, libraries are focusing on staff training such as multicultural workshops and language classes. For example, the Spanish That Works approach from The Learning Light teaches basic library vocabulary. With just a few words, librarians can direct patrons to on-line services that can translate daily correspondence, school bulletins, etc.
The private sector is helping to round out budgets and business partnerships are becoming more common. “We’re planning to offer the program in four states this year,” says Dr. Cruz, “but working with a corporate sponsor interested in bringing this message to the Hispanic community would allow many more libraries to participate.” The combination of these efforts will help to meet the needs of a rapidly growing community.
They may even answer this pressing question. What does it take to get a teenager to read? The answer: bring him to the library and inspire him! At a recent Spanish Audios program, a thirteen year-old who had been “dragged there by his parents” told Dr. Cruz after the seminar that he was so focused on his goals that he planned to take the money he was saving to buy a bicycle and put it toward some good books. Aha – success!