Advocacy, Outreach and Collaboration
With the Latinx community rapidly growing in Central Virginia, many agencies and organizations find themselves searching for ways to better serve their communities. In Central Virginia; Chesterfield County, Henrico County and the City of Richmond; there has been a large increase in their Latinx communities. A notable change is Chesterfield County experiencing a 248% change in the population from 2000. Schools, non-profits, government agencies, and businesses have all been working to make meaningful changes in outreach, hiring practices, business models, staff training, and procurement of resources to meet the needs of this burgeoning community. Public Libraries are uniquely situated in this rapidly changing landscape in both reaching out to Latinx and to offer services and resources to help them in their information needs. In this presentation, I will share how staff and organizations are coming together to build bridges in offering resources, information, create programming, and opportunities for Latinx to use public libraries and to make better use of the resources in the community. There are a number of Latinx focused luminaries in the Central Virginia region that have been working to create community within the last twenty years and work within a network of professionals that ensure that the Latinx community is visible, appreciated, learns about important resources and information, as well as having access to the region’s numerous opportunities. This presentation will include interviews, research about the luminaires’ work, and how they work in tandem to serve the community through libraries and other organizations. Also included will be suggestions, best practices, and ideas on how to reach out to and serve a new and growing community.