This past week I had the privilege to attend the National Diversity in Libraries conference in Louisville, KY (a million thanks Todd and Martha for agreeing to send me to this event!). I am coming back inspired and recharged, and my eyes have been opened to issues I was not quite in tune with, looking at the world through my own limited POV.
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?
10 months ago