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Presented by Infopeople on Behalf of WebJunction and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Offered March - July 2006


  • According to the 2000 Census, 32.5% of California's population is Hispanic.
  • According to estimates from the California Department of Finance, that percentage will increase to 38.7% by 2010 and to 43.3% by 2020.
  • Since 1990, the Hispanic population has increased in every California county.
  • The proportion of Hispanic library users is currently significantly lower than the proportion of Hispanics in the California population.

Public libraries in California must be relevant to many ethnic, cultural, and language groups, especially to the Spanish-speaking residents who constitute a large and growing segment of our population. If you would like to learn more about Hispanic culture, about how to develop culturally sensitive library services, and about how you can better market the library to Spanish speakers, this workshop is for you.

This free workshop is part of a national program developed by WebJunction with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Workshop Description: This all-day, interactive workshop will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to improve service to Spanish speakers in your community. You will explore cultural issues and their implications for your library, examine key ingredients of successful library programs for Spanish speakers, discuss how to increase access to technology for Spanish speakers, and learn how most effectively to market the library to Spanish-speaking users. You will learn how to build strong partnerships and collaborate with community groups and their representatives, and will have the opportunity to interact with a panel of local community leaders. Workshop resources will include resource lists, templates, and guides for needs assessment and planning, plus samples of Spanish language signage and marketing materials. Workshop exercises will culminate with the development of an action plan for your library.

Preliminary Course Outline:

  • Exploring the Spanish-Speaking Community
    • What is diversity? What is culture?
    • Cultural programming/cultural differences
    • Diversity of the Spanish-speaking customer
  • Working with the Community
    • Identifying community agencies and leaders
    • The community leader interview process
    • Spanish-speaking community panel presentation
  • Services for the Spanish-Speaking Community
    • Overview of library programs
    • Characteristics of successful programs
  • Getting support: making the case for serving the Spanish-speaking customer
    • Selecting outreach activities and developing an action plan
  • Marketing to the Spanish-speaking community
  • Resources to help you
    • WebJunction

Workshop Instructor: This workshop will be taught by one of the Infopeople trainers who were trained at the WebJunction Spanish Language Outreach Program Institute in Seattle. They are: Bertha Huertero, Patricia Jimenez, Cindy Mediavilla, and Alvaro Sanabria. They will be accompanied by Holly Hinman, Infopeople Director.

WebJunction has developed a set of expectations for outcomes from the Spanish Language Outreach workshops. To achieve these outcomes, you as a workshop participant will be encouraged to:

  • select and develop an action plan for implementing three outreach activities;
  • share you workshop experiences with co-workers and supervisors;
  • participate in the WebJunction online community;
  • participate in evaluating the workshop.

Infopeople will support and assist you in these activities through scheduled audio conferences sessions, an online discussion list, resource development, and continued training.

In order to extend the benefits of this workshop, Infopeople will be scheduling related workshops as a follow-up for those who want to continue and intensify efforts in this area. For your future planning information, those workshops will include:

  • Survival Spanish for Library Staff - Level One
  • Survival Spanish for Library Staff - Level Two
  • Internet Services for the Spanish Speaker
  • Developing Spanish and Latino Interest Collections
  • Teaching Spanish-Speaking Customers How to Use the Internet
  • Introduction to Microsoft Office for Spanish Speakers