Outreach

The following matrix of ideas for community outreach were contributed by libraries serving Spanish-speaking and Latino patrons across the country.

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Library Location Outreach
San Diego County Library San Diego, CA Parenting classes
Lakeside Library Lakeside, CA We have done some outreach with a Spanish Immersion Elementary School within the community. We have sent them our information via email and flyers. They have informed all the parents and children at their school about our program and all the resources we offer at the Library for the Latino community or people who just want to learn Spanish and learn about the Latino culture.
11 Libraries including Enicinitas, Fallbrook, Ramona, etc San Diego, CA One of our system’s required celebrations is the Dia de los Niños/Dia de los Libros we have fun every year booking bilingual performers and arranging bilingual storytimes at all 33 branches for this celebration it is a tremendous outreach! Spanish Bilingual storytimes not working well in communities with low Hispanic population, so we try Farsi, Chinese, Italian, etc. Anything to involve our many diverse communities Good Luck!!
San Diego county, Solana Beach Branch San Diego, CA Go to Solana Beach Education coalition committee meetings. Partner with Migrant Education Group. Put flyers up in Pediatric and obstetrician clinics that work with Spanish speaking families. Presented library information to Head Start Family meetings. Posting flyers hasn’t helped attract Spanish speaking clients.
Oakland Public Library Oakland, CA We make sure to have all materials and recorded messages available in Spanish, bilingual staff visits schools and other partner agencies, as well as latino community agencies, such as the Spanish-speaking Citizens Foundation, to highlight services, materials, and programs, especially those that target Spanish-speakers.
Columbus Metropolitan Library Columbus, OH We started the year interviewing Hispanic community leaders. We also met with Josue Vicente, Director of the Ohio Hispanic Coalition. Two Ready to Read programs for parents using the Centro Esperanza Latina- Center for Latin Hope, West side Columbus- have been presented, reaching over 50 families. We have conducted bi-weekly outreach visits to the Ohio Hispanic Coalition after-school program and Centro Esperanza Latina (both on the west side), bringing unique CML programs: Egypt and Dr. Seuss day. Artwork made by the children of both of these agencies has been on display at the Hilltop branch for families to come and see. We have participated in the “Día de los niños” event organized by the Ohio Hispanic Coalition. CML had 2 tables to present general library information (resources, Job Help Centers, Homework Help Centers), crafts and games. We also offered entertainment: a bilingual story time program, captivating the attention of all ages.
Morgan Hill Library Morgan Hill, CA I met with local organizations that work with the Spanish speaking community, talked about ways we could work together, and distributed information about the storytimes and library services.
Live Oak Branch, Santa Cruz Public Libraries Santa Cruz, CA Cooperation with HeadStart and schools and preschools serving Spanish speaking children and their families. I tried having a weekly Spanish language storytime, but the only people who came were English speakers wanting their kids to learn Spanish. I don’t think families are home to take their kids to storytime during the week, and are too busy on weekends. So working with the preschools and other daycare providers is a great way for us to connect with these families.
Willows Public Library Willows, CA Providing bilingual information as well as providing space for FIRST FIVE and Literacy for ELF and play group.
Hennepin County Library – Oxboro Bloomington, MN Connecting with community groups, churches and preschool programs serving Latino families. What has not worked so well has been using the bilingual storytime model, e.g., reading books in both English and Spanish at the same time.
Irwindale Public Library Irwindale, CA El Dia Celebration
Poudre River Public Libraries Fort Collins, Colorado Providing storytimes to daycares, programs, and schools with a high number of Latino children.
San Luis Obispo County Library San Luis Obispo, CA Working with Headstart Preschools in Latino areas Speaking to Latino parents groups at schools Bilingual library card sign up night staffed be English and Spanish speakers and promoted by teachers in local schools Community College community festival. Programs for latino families in our area are more successful if they are in the evenings/weekends.
Owatonna Public Library Owatonna, MN We have offered a Spanish storytime, usually during the summer. We try to include members of the Hispanic community, and advertise at local churches, especially those with large Hispanic congregations.
Yuba County Library Marysville, CA We contact the local Spanish radio stations, we announce on the public television, and announce in a local Spanish paper, we held a storytime spectacular, in contact with Head Start, and First 5, and WIC.
Roseville Public Library Roseville, CA We spoke with after school programs in the community that assist the Latino community in Roseville and offered to conduct our program at their location.
Olathe Indian Creek Branch Library Olathe, KS We have celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a concert at a community center frequented by Spanish speakers. We offered a bilingual version of PRIME TIME. Neither of these programs was well attended.
Eugene Public Library Eugene, OR Latino devotees of the library have offered their services in this area. We have also had contracted program presenters include outreach in their contracts. We had a very successful Intercambio – for a while. The numbers of Spanish-speaking English learners tended to be low and the number of English speaking Spanish learners very high. Because a part of our intention was to draw Spanish speakers into the library, we eventually discontinued the program.
Vista Branch Library, San Diego County Library San Diego, CA Celebrate Dia de los Niños each year; also appear when asked by local nonprofit that reaches out to Spanish-speaking families. Doing an occasional bilingual storytime didn’t work because no one came. But having a consistent every week storytime has been great!
Brentwood Branch, Springfield-Greene County Library Springfield, MO We have offered various programs in our branches and out in the community through the years.
Laurel Library Laurel, MD Working with the parent liaisons at the elementary schools in our area, with the ESOL teachers, and with local Hispanic leaders and organizations. We tried having a local Hispanic group (La Familia) have people here every Tuesday evening to help customers find information and such; it did not work as well as we would have hoped. I think they made arrangements with families to meet them at their homes or at other places other than the library.
Kern County Library Lamont Branch Lamont, California I speak in Spanish, and I take all the information about the library in Spanish. When I mention what the library carries, I mention popular items such as Ingles Sin Barreras, How To Obtain Citizenship, Cooking for Diabetics, etc. etc. It is difficult for parents to focus on what the speaker is saying when their kids are in the meeting. Kids become a distraction to the parents.
Kenton County Public Library Covington, KY We have partnered with Even Start at a nearby preschool, inviting the parents and children to come to the library for a tour, a chance to get library card, and storytime. We also take bilingual storytime on the road to nearby preschools and head-start sites. Anything you do to invite new immigrants to the library works. Without any foreign language skills, you can be friendly and inviting.
Broward County Library Fort Lauderdale, FL New bilingual programs were integrated on a monthly basis to the libraries’ programs, and they not only included story times, but puppet shows projects and storytelling. These permanent bilingual story time programs have been also offered free to public schools, day care centers, and local non-profit organizations.
Sedona Public Library Sedona, AZ Special Latino Open House, which includes dinner Poetry event Christmas Posada Press release, Latino newspaper. We have only 5-8 children at our Bilingual Story Time. We still are trying to get a time that works. Right now it is at 4:30 on the first and third Mon.
Brawley Public Library Brawley, CA Visit preschool parent nights and other presentations in Spanish.
Winters Branch of the Yolo County Library Winters, CA Flyers in the community, library and schools, be present in the community events.
Yolo Co. Library Davis, CA Contact the Catholic Church, advertise in the schools, send press releases to the newspapers, pass out flyers at the library and other events.
Boone County Public Library Florence, KY We have worked with the Health Department or other community programs and had special storytimes for the families. We had to go to programs and groups that are already working with Hispanic families. They would feel more comfortable to be with people they know and trust more. When we offered a bilingual storytime at the library, nobody would show up.
Fortuna Library Fortuna, CA library card registration drives at local festivals, health fairs, attending meetings of Latino Net, we also have a part-time Spanish Language Outreach Coordinator. Patience and consistency are the keys. It took time to develop attendance at the program, it also needs to happen every month.
Del Norte County Library District Crescent City, CA We get referrals from a couple of the Head Starts in our community.
SSF Public Library South San Francisco, CA Slide shows in English and Spanish on local TV and visits to local schools.
Oakland Public Library – Eastmont Branch Oakland, CA Providing food. Attending parent meetings at schools.
Cesar Chavez / OPL Oakland, CA Presenting to ESL classes for mothers. Speaking Spanish at school outreach. What did not work were weekly family story times. I’m not sure why, but they just did not work.
Lodi Public Library Lodi, CA Promotion through the Boys and Girls Club that provides after-school programs in the neighborhood that is primarily Hispanic. Promotion through Spanish-language parents groups connected to the local schools. It is important to be aware of and respectful of the different spoken varieties of Spanish. A Spanish-speaking storyteller who is from South America will have a different Spanish from that of someone from Mexico. In turn, it is necessary to know your local demographics and recruit accordingly.
Rio Vista branch, Solano County Library Rio Vista, CA Having the social services agencies work with us.
Oakland Public Library Oakland, CA Locating local organizations, contacting director(s) there and talking to them about how library can partner. we have done outreach to schools, health clinics, community centers, , parks and rec centers, charities, legal advocacy groups, and immigration rights groups.
Azusa City Library Azusa, CA There are bilingual Kinder Prep and Head Start programs where staff gives short presentations to the parents about the library and programming. Also conduct storytimes at the sites for kids. Bookmobile transports books throughout the community though all residents are the intended users. So far the programs that have not worked well would not have succeeded regardless of language. Mainly programs targeted towards adults don’t do so well in our library.
KCLS Issaquah, WA ESL classes, talk time, Story time in Spanish, Fiestas and Outreach programs.
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library Corvallis, OR Librarian has made presentations Head starts, churches, and elementary schools.
Mission Branch Library, San Francisco Public Library San Francisco, CA Work with Early Head Start, other organizations to promote, we are in a neighborhood with large Latino community so there are many organizations to partner with.
Columbus Metropolitan Library Columbus, OH Working with local organizations that serve the Hispanic/Latino community. Conducting community leader interviews to learn about the needs of the community. Inviting community leaders to come address library administration about community needs. Working with local ESL teachers. Working with Spanish media contacts to feature stories about library programs and resources. Taking bookmobile to heavily Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods, comprised largely of recent immigrants, without doing outreach and making contacts first did not work well for us.
Salinas Public Library Salinas, CA Libraries host weekly bilingual story times. Our Literacy Center staffs runs bilingual and Spanish language GED, English Conversation, and computer courses. Literacy staff conducts small group English courses and bilingual story times for children in the community at affordable housing complexes as well as community clinics. During the summer our homework center hosts a bilingual Family Literacy Program, and the homework center is open year round for bilingual assistance and tutoring for children grades 1-8. A school library card drive has distributed over 35000 library cards to students in Salina

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