A place to share books, music, techniques, and all things related to bilingual storytime!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Check out this very cool concept from the National Center for Family Literacy! Funded by a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, they created two fotonovelas (both of which are available in English and Spanish) which teach parents how and why they should be involved with their children's education and schooling. Fotonovelas are a graphic style of book, similiar to a comic book, which are popular in Latin American. They combine pictures and words to tell a story.
The two fotonovelas created by NCFL are designed to help clarify the American expectation of parental involvement in education to people who may come from cultures without such an expectation. They explain such things as parent/teacher conferences and ways in which parents can be involved with children's schoolwork at home. PDFs and videos of these fotonovelas are available for free online. I'd love to see us at the library do something similar where we make videos that demonstrate what kind of assistance students and families can receive at our Homework Help Centers!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Gabriela, my fellow Spanish Program Specialist here at CML, is a woman of many talents! Before joining our team, Gabriela volunteered her time to create this video along with the Columbus Fire Department to promote fire safety to the Spanish-speaking community here in Columbus.
There have been too many stories here in Columbus of fires destroying homes and families in the Latino community. This video is an example of a positive response to such tragedy. I wonder what opportunities there are for us to create other informative videos for our community? What other organizations could we partner with in such an effort?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
- I'm vegan and I absolutely LOVE food and cooking!
- I've spent time in more foreign countries (15) than I have states outside of Ohio (12).
- I have two awesome cats: Chino and Zoey (who is 18 and I swear is going to live forever!)
- I've been with my amazing significant other for 6 years and we're getting married in late 2010.
- I love martial arts, and I train in muay thai.
- Though I enjoy a variety of music, it's definitely metal above all for me.
- I spend my Sundays watching NFL and have been a Dallas Cowboys fan all my life.
- Once upon a time in Northern Laos I ate a bat wing and it tasted like a chili flavored latex glove! Catch me in person for the full details on that one...
- I did not have a cell phone until this year when I finally gave in and got an iPhone, and the tech geek living inside of me finally started to blossom.
- I am beyond excited for the release of Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland, my all time favorite story! I cannot wait to see what imagery his mind comes up with!
There you go, 10 random things!
I have really enjoyed participating in Learn and Play @ CML for a variety of reasons. First, it gives staff a shared vocabulary. I can talk with my colleagues about the idea of using Twitter or a wiki to streamline our workflow without having to wonder if they know what I am talking about. Second, it lets me as an employee know that my library supports the use of emerging technologies in my job. I don't have to wonder if it is OK for me to set up a wiki or blog about programming because it is clear this is something supported within the culture at CML. Third, through the use of many of these tools I have deepened my connections with co-workers. Whether learning more about their work or personal lives or just having another way to say hello, it has been great to reconnect with fellow co-workers and to meet new ones! Fourth, I have learned more about some new technologies that will be very useful for me in this position, in my involvement with professional organizations, and for my own professional development.
Thanks for extending the time; doing so kept this fun and informative without adding the stressful burden of a looming, impossible-to-reach deadline! All in all, this has been a very cool experience and a model of training it could be cool to see us replicate in the future. I hope the blog remains up so future staff can participate as well!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The Columbus Bilingual Academy opened this year on the west side of Columbus for students in grades 4-7. The school is tuition-free and supports a full curriculum in both English and Spanish, complete with after-school activities and clubs! It was wonderful to meet the teachers, staff, and students today. I look forward to visiting and partnering with the school more in the future!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
How can libraries make use of Podcasting and webcasting? Check out how New York Public Library is doing it! I think there is real potential for webcasting for libraries. We could be webcasting our author visits so those who can't make the time can still participate, webcasting video for each of the Ready to Read pre-literacy skills modeling ways parents can practice at home, and even replace Dial-A-Story with Download-A-Story for storytime footage with our fabulous staff! Lots of library Teen Advisory Board groups are getting in to creating their own podcasts and distributing them through the library website. I definitely believe this is something we will see more of in the years to come.
However, I am going to embark on some shameless self-promotion here to demonstrate embedding video content into a blog. Enjoy!
Sunday, November 9, 2008
But this is changing 11/10! Hooray!!!!!! I really think this (with the proper marketing) will result in much more use. I mean seriously, who uses an MP3 player that's not an iPod? I am curious if the movies will be compatible as well. That will rock.
You can bet I'll be playing around with MOLDI again and checking out everything I can after tomorrow!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
For Thing #19 I took a look at the TechCruch blog, which is part of CML's Toolbox on our Power Tools page. I like it, and so have subscribed to the RSS feed in my Bloglines account. I feel that Web 2.0 technology will probably expand infinitely like the universe, so I want to at least keep my eye on the people who know much more about it than I do. If they start getting really excited about something, I should probably pay attention!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Anyway, my Facebook profile is brand new, so there is nothing fancy on it, but if you want to be my friend you can find me here: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1179271236&ref=profile
Online word processing tools are awesome! They allow people to collaborate on documents from distant lands, as well as making superb backup storage options because they do not take up any room on one's personal hard drives. I have used Google Docs for collaborative and personal endeavors and I find it to be one of the most practical and useful Web 2.0 tools out there. Additionally, this is a great option for staff who are working on documents on our computers and do not have floppy disks/flash drives to save them to.
The only complaint that I have regarding Google docs is its mobile platform. While I can view my docs on my iPhone, I cannot modify them. This is unfortunate. It would be extremely convenient for me to be able to save homework assignments and other things I am working on to Google docs and then be able to work on them whenever I have down time (such as in the passenger seat on long drives, at airports, etc.). Then my iPhone would almost completely substitute for a laptop. I am sure, however, that it will just be a matter of time before this changes. In the meantime, if anyone knows of another online word processing tool which DOES allow the user to modify documents with the mobile platform I would love to hear about it!
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Sophie shared that there is a very active refugee resettlement agency in Louisville, so the immigrant groups coming to settle there are often changing based on what is transpiring in the world at large. This makes clear how important it is to conitinually be assessing who makes up the community one is serving, what their needs are, and how they have changed to know how the library needs to adapt. How does LFPL do this? Sophie visits this agency's ESOL classes weekly to sign newcomers up for library cards and to introduce them to library services. In addition, she is constantly making contact with local cultural organizations share what the library has to offer. Some of the programs created specifically for the immigrant population in Louisville include the English Conversation Club (a place for English learners to practice their skills with native English speakers), and the Bilingual Cafe (Spanish learners and English learners both practice the language they are learning with native speakers). How does she make this work? Well,
- volunteers participate in both conversation groups, including interns from the local University Latin American studies department and international student groups
- prompts are provided for those who need something to get them starting speaking together
- kids are included, as child care can be a barrier blocking participation
- food, Food, FOOD!
The staff from Village branch of the Lexington Public Library, I must say, are some of the most dedicated and passionate individuals I have met in this field (I will be blogging about my experience at Village more later). In this session, they pointed out that for something like what they are doing there to work (completely bilingual staff and collection), they need the will and commitment of their institution to serving the Hispanic/Latino population. They pointed out that it is important to take risks; don't let perfect be the enemy of good! Maybe you'll try something that is a complete flop...this is the risk the institution must be willing to take to determine what will work! They emphasized the importance of all staff being friendly and approachable, making the extra effort to greet all customers as they walk in the door. Think about it in context: for most of us, the library by its very nature is a warm and welcoming place. For those who are not used to libraries in their own countries, the library is a place filled with uncertainty (what is this? who is it for? how does it work? am I allowed to be here?) and this makes it scary.
The programming the Village branch has developed for their community demonstrates what successful partnerships with community organizations can accomplish. For example, the local schools found that Hispanic parents were not attending parent/teacher conferences, so the library suggested that the teachers come to the library for conferences. Guess what...the parents came! They could walk to the library and felt safe there, and showed up in mass to learn how their kids were doing in school and how they could help them do better. Village also secured a grant for programming to help immigrants assimilate to life in the US and to prevent gang violence. They formed a variety of programs for teens with this grant, including an aikido class! Additionally, they bring speakers in from a variety of community organizations to provide "How to..." training for immigrants. Some speakers include bank representatives, officials from the Mexican consulate, and local police. What is the result of this? When the Village community needs information or wants entertainment, they go to the library to find it. Village is the only library I have ever seen that has actually accomplished becoming the Third Place.
How does this apply to CML:
- What is the vision for services to immigrants in Columbus? What is the city's vision and how does the library fit into it?
- We should be making contact with our local Refugee and Immigrant services organization to get a grasp of what the immigrant groups here need and how the library can contribute.
- People want to learn English...what are we doing to meet this? English conversation groups require little to get off the ground and basically come to run themselves...
- Would love to do some type of cultural showcase. Any branch doing anything like this?
- Bringing in community representatives to talk to immigrants about how to assimilate (get a bank account, fill out school paperwork, etc.) is brilliant!!!! Are we even thinking about programming for adult communities anymore? Certainly, helping immigrants learn about the ins-and-outs of living in the US has an impact on young minds...
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
The icing on the storytime cake, however, came in the form of a beautiful brand-new flannel my very talented co-worker Andrew Dittmar made to tell the story of The Bossy Gallito = El gallo de bodas. Kids and parents both enjoyed this cumulative tale of a very bossy (and exquisite) little rooster! And of course, it's not really storytime unless we end with our goodbye song, "Adios amigos!"
This was a great program, lots of fun...feel free to steal it! I mean it! And share some ideas with me as well...what are you doing in your programs to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month?
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I have a lot of great information to share from this conference and it will be coming in bits and pieces. Blogging is not hard, it is just sometimes hard to find the time to keep up with it! So instead of laying everything out in one post, I'll be adding smaller posts about specific sessions. I feel the knowledge and networking gained at this conference will help me not only as a Spanish programmer, but also in my work on the CML Diversity Committee and the OLC Diversity Awareness and Resources committee.
I will share with you now the most brilliant and provacative thing I heard at the conference. Jose Aponte shared how his library system partnered with the San Diego health department to address two critical issues in the Latino community in San Diego: a lack of books and poor health conditions. How did they fight these problems to uplift the community? The library purchased a vehicle similar to the type of truck used for taquerias (mobile Mexican fast food restuarants) and turned it in to a bookmobile. They took this bookmobile out into the Latino communities equipped with bilingual staff and a clinic nurse! Let me say that again: they brought books and a nurse to the community on a familiar-looking (trustable) vehicle, with bilingual staffing!!!! This is an incredible and creative effort to truly change the lives of the community, and proof that this library knows their community and is invested in making an impact there!
Applying this to my position, I realize how much work I have to do. What are the needs of the Latino community in Columbus? What about in Whitehall specifically? How can CML creatively partner with other organizations serving the Latino community to avoid a duplication of effort and accomplish more with less?
Friday, September 26, 2008
- Can staff create and share work-related wikis?
- Who is responsible for moderating content?
- Should content be password restricted (if so, who has access) or publicly accessible (ala, "The Transparent Library")?
- Which wiki software should we use?
I am very excited that we are learning about these Web 2.0 technologies, but I wonder what we are going to do with this knowledge. Is there a plan or goals for how we will be integrating this new knowledge into our jobs? Is it a free for all for staff to create and distribute any content they desire? If there is a vision of what CML 2.0 is going to look like, I would love it if such vision was shared with all of us...
- The critical element of Library 2.0 has less to do with technology than it does with one key philosophy of how we should structure our service: It's all about the customer! There is no excuse for not focusing completely on giving the customers what they want in the ways they want it delivered. There is no room in Library 2.0 for the librarian who does not buy in to this philosophy.
- How is CML measuring up on this? Clearly this philosophy is embraced at the highest levels or there would be no Learn and Play, but how well does it trickle down? It matters little how much Administration wants CML to be Library 2.0 if the everyday staff working with customers do not understand what it means, why it is important, and live it in all their interactions with customers.
- I'd love to see OCLC take their Open WorldCat a step further and create an iPhone app. This type of tool could connect users (granted, a limited demographic of users) to their local libraries all over the country. See my previous blog post on why I think a library iPhone app is a good idea.
- Westerville PL subscribes to a service that catalogues websites and integrates them into their OPAC. The result is that when users search the catalog for information on a subject, not only are books and journal articles retrieved, but reliable websites are as well. A customer, then, knows s/he can start a web search from home or wherever at the Westerville library online and get a manageable number of reliable web resources. I don't have any idea how often customers actually do this, but I think it is a really cool idea.
- As we embrace new technologies and the new methods for delivering information that customers want, I believe it is critical to remember that libraries have a role to play in leveling the playing field so that all people have access to free information. We must not abandon those segments of our population who do not have advanced technology skills or online access. The digital divide is still very real and in these economic times, it is unlikely that this will be changing anytime soon.
- It would be cool to see Ready to Read on Twitter. Parents, sign up to follow us on Twitter for daily tips and resources on how to get your kids Ready to Read!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I have not really explored much with the social networking aspects of delicious, however. To be completely honest, too much social networking goes across the line from being convenient to being another time-waster, in my opinion. I like the way HFAR is using del.icio.us, and I think this is a great example of how libraries can use this tool. We make booklists and pathfinders to distribute to customers; delicious essentially allows us to create multiple pathfinders of online resources which customers can access in one place. How cool!
I do have a gripe, though. Why do we not have a delicious button on our toolbar???? We get to see how great this tool is, but we cannot use it at work, because we have to continually re-install the button to save sites. Personally, I think this is ridiculous and I hope it gets changed!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Anyway, you can be my friend and learn all sorts of things about me at http://twitter.com/paleopal.
I have no idea how one would develop this or if any other libraries are already working on such a thing. But I can't help but think, if it's possible for businesses, if it's possible for social networking sites, if it's possible for wikipedia, why not for libraries?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
It's really hard to sit still sometimes...
This actually works as an image generator for Thing #10 as well, so I am going to use it as such. I made a hilarious avatar for myself from the image generator linked to "The Generator Blog," but the link to email it was not working, so alas...no avatar. But this will work.
It's crazy how I feel so blessed to have done the traveling that I have, but when I look at it on this map, it seems like so little!
So much world...so little time
So yes, miles behind the pack I will be getting the most basic piece of technology we all can't seem to live without these days. Somehow I still suspect only about 3 people will have my number...
Friday, August 29, 2008
So my first experience at a national conference (ALA Annual 2008 in Anaheim, CA) felt a lot like my first day at college: the campus was sprawling, I struggled to figure out where I was going, and I felt desperate for a friendly face to talk to! Thankfully, I felt much more comfortable and was well in my element at the OLOS Diversity Fair. This is a photo of my presentation at the Diversity Fair that I found on Flickr and was posted by WebJunction. It was a wonderfult experience to talk with colleagues interested in Spanish outreach from all over the country; some have long been making a strong effort to serve their Spanish-speaking community and others are just getting started. Other presentations at the fair where incredibly interesting, including a presentation about the "Conexiones que cuentan" project from the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, and outreach to seniors through gaming from the Lexington Public Library. And after meeting so many people at the fair, I felt at ease for the rest of the conference as a friendly face was never too far away!
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I am loving the structure of Learn and Play so far. It's fun, and is providing the opportunity to learn more about other staff scattered throughout the system. I'm looking forward to what the remaining weeks have in store!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Anyway, CML has just kicked off its "Learn and Play @ CML" program based on Helene Blowers' 23 Things. This is a program designed to get our staff learning about Web 2.0 technologies together and on work time! I am especially excited about this because I have let the blog fall behind in recent months, as I did not know if it was acceptable to contribute to it on work time. It is a great feeling to now know that my organization is supporting the sharing of knowledge and experience with colleagues in this way!
We are in Week 1 of "Learn and Play" which opened with a bang yesterday with a presentation from Michael Stephens on The Hyperlinked Library. The basic idea? Be involved with your community wherever they are, both physically and virtually, and go out of your way to remove any and all barriers that may be keeping them from using the library! One of the most important things to remember, I think, as we embrace Learning 2.0 is that the Web 2.0 technologies are tools we can embrace to accomplish this, but perhaps even more important than learning the tools is the mindset shift required to really put the library out there and available on our cusotmers' terms.
As someone who works with the underserved striving to remove barriers to service, I look forward to our culture at CML embracing this mentality and am extremely excited to be part of this program...
Thursday, June 5, 2008
The answer to that question is outreach! There are a variety of great resources available which discuss the necessity and benefits of library outreach to Spanish-speaking communities. To sum up a key point, public library services as we offer them in the United States are not the norm in Central and South America. It could very well be possible that your Spanish-speaking community is not using the library because they simply do not know that they can, or how to, or why they should. It is up to YOU to spread the word!
I would like to share two successful outreach endeavors which I recently engaged in, in order to promote library services to residents of the Whitehall, OH Spanish-speaking community. It is my hope that these endeavors could serve as a case study and be replicated by other libraries struggling to connect with their Spanish-speaking residents.
Partnering with an ESL teacher
During the summer of 2007 I was fortunate enough to meet Stella Villaba, an ESL teacher for the Whitehall City School District. Stella is a passionate teacher and an avid library supporter. When I first met her, she was very happy to distribute information in Spanish about the library to her students and her families. Later during the school year she approached me about putting together some type of presentation for the families of her students. She was finding that they often did not know about the variety of services available through the library, such as the Homework Help Centers and the Fresh Start program, which allows customers to read-off their fines twice a year. We decided to develop a Library Orientation and Tour. On May 11, 2008 we welcomed about 35 people to the library for a bilingual presentation which explained the basic details of how to use the library and what types of services the library has to offer. It was a huge success, which wrapped up with participants taking a tour of the library and with some getting new library cards!
This particular strategy could be replicated anywhere to bring in immigrant families who may not be aware of the library. If you are not bilingual and the language barrier is an issue, perhaps a local teacher or volunteer would be willing to translate in order to present the information bilingually. Even without the tour, making contact with local ESL teachers to let them know what services the library has to offer to support their services will likely result in that information being spread to families.
Visiting an adult ESL class
Rather coincidentally, the same week we put together the library tour, a local adult ESL teacher contacted the Whitehall library to come speak to the children of the students about Summer Reading Club. Throughout the course of this conversation it was discovered that the entire ESL class was Spanish-speaking. When the teacher learned that a Spanish-speaker was available to come talk with the students about the library she was ecstatic! The following Monday, May 13, we gave the same presentation at the adult ESL class which meets at a local church. The group of about 25 was delightful to work with. I was amazed how many questions they had which I was able to answer. The group was very enthusiastic about the library, and it has since been arranged that our Bookmobile will visit the church before the ESL class each week this summer!
At my library, due to a lack of Spanish-speaking staff, we are following a model of Spanish customer service which ALA President Dr. Camila Alire describes in her book Serving Latino Communities: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians. I have a standard shift that I work to provide customer service in different branches once a week. I saw the impact of this outreach the very next Wednesday when I was working my weekly shift in Whitehall; seven people from the presentation at the ESL class came to the library!
So get out of the building and spread the word, or find creative partnerships to invite people in! Be proactive about letting potential customers know what you have to offer them and you are likely to see them take you up on it!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
If your library is having an event for El Día de los Niños, be sure to register with the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC) database, and receive 200 complimentary bilingual brochures featuring Dora to promote Día and literacy!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
By Dr. Jean Feldman on Ole! Ole! Ole! Dr. Jean en Español
- "Hola amigo" This is my standard opening song. Great for preschool and kindergarten children.
- "Tu ti ta" Super silly!
- "Pajarito" on Canto y Cuento. Kids sing, jump, fly, eat, drink and sleep like a bird.
- "Ruedas del camión" on Diez Deditos. "Wheels on the Bus" in Spanish. Even though this song is all in Spanish, bilingual groups can follow along easily, as kids who don't understand Spanish will still recognize the song. Good idea to quickly go over the motions before starting the song.
- "El chocolate" on De Colores. Traditional rhyme from Latin America. Great for phonological awareness! I like to spell CHO-CO-LA-TE out on the feltboard before singing the chant.
- "La araña pequeñita" on De Colores. "Itsy Bitsy Spider" in Spanish. This is a nice one for toddlers too.
These songs are a bit of a mouthful, as they are all bilingual. However, they are great fun! These songs would probably work very well in a tandem style bilingual storytime, with one presenter singing along in each language. Or, if you are not bilingual, sing along in English and let the CD do the Spanish. This is a very low pressure way to add español to your storytime!
- "Follow the leader/Sigue al líder" Gallop like a horse, waddle like a duck, hop like a frog, and fly like a bird. Great for farm themes or to get those kids up and moving! Works best for preschool and school age kids.
- "Groovin' and Movin'/Ritmo y movimiento" Who are los chicos más animados?
What music do you find works well in bilingual storytime? Do you also use any of these songs?
Friday, March 14, 2008
Because I speak English and Spanish, I am able to provide bilingual family storytimes solo. I use a variety of storytelling techniques in order to reinforce vocabulary in both languages. For example, I may share a draw-n-tell story mostly in English, interjecting key Spanish words which are reinforced by the drawing, repeated throughout the story, etc. Flannels also work well for reinforcing vocabulary, and are an option for stories you want to share but do not have available in a Spanish or bilingual book. I will vary the dominant language of the storytime based on the language ability of the group in attendance. However, the books and songs we use each week are always either bilingual or in Spanish.
Though speaking Spanish clearly makes it easier to offer bilingual programs, I really encourage non-Spanish speaking programmers who work with Spanish speaking families, or have large numbers of Spanish speaking residents in their service areas, to give Spanish a try in storytime. Books by Susan Middleton Elya and Ginger Foglesong Guy make it really easy; just check the pronunciation of the Spanish words ahead of time!
Do you work in a library that offers bilingual programs? How do you do it?
Saturday, March 1, 2008
- In this blog, I plan to share great books and music I come across for bilingual storytimes, storytelling techniques which work well in a bilingual format, and anything else that seems useful to share with others offering bilingual storytimes in their libraries.
- This blog is intended to be used by anyone working to cultivate a love of reading and an appreciation of language in children. I offer a library perspective, but I welcome the thoughts and experiences of teachers, parents, and others working with bilingual children as well.
- I do not have many colleagues providing bilingual storytimes near me in Columbus, OH, so I welcome comments and feedback from colleagues in other locations. This blog will work best if it is collaborative in nature, so please share your thoughts!
In this first post, I'm including a list of links to sites which have valuable information for planning bilingual storytimes, as well as libraries which are offering unique or interesting services to their Spanish speakers.
- I attended one of the Spanish Language Outreach trainings offered by Webjunction in spring 2007. I highly recommend it! Their website is incredibily useful for any staff who work with Spanish speakers, or who have Spanish speakers in their community. Find signage, archived webinars, case studies of libraries around the country, and all the materials provided in their training by clicking their link.
- REFORMA is the National Association for Library Services to Latinos and the Spanish speaking. A lot of great information related to serving Spanish speakers in general can be found at their website. The listserv is a great source of current information. REFORMA members have also been very helpful as I've had programming questions.
- The Village branch of the Lexington Public Library has a completely bilingual staff with a variety of cool services, including bilingual storytime, homework help, and the bilingual café!