Advocacy, Outreach and Collaboration
Nuestras Raíces (“our roots”) is a committee of library staff that are passionate about providing excellent customer service and resource-sharing with the Latina/o and Spanish-speaking communities of Pima County. We work on providing services and culturally-relevant programming that highlights the cultural and linguistic treasures of our Latina/o and Spanish-speaking community throughout the year.
We’d like to focus our presentation on the extensive programs and services Nuestras Raíces provide in the community on a year round basis, the staff development opportunities we’ve created to boost advocacy and create allies within our staff, and also showcase our most recent grant work. We’d like to highlight how we came about identifying the need, the process we went through in applying for and conducting the grant work, and finally some outcome and data we received that will help us improve our library services to Latina/a and Spanish-speaking communities we serve.
Members of Pima County Public Library’s Nuestras Raíces applied for and were awarded an LSTA (Library Services & Technology Act) grant through the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records. The grant funds were used to hire a consultant to conduct a culturally-competent and culturally-relevant assessment of the needs of the Latino and Spanish-speaking communities in various branch service areas. The assessment was intergenerational and focused on the education, health, and family needs of the community. This was done through a series of focus groups and community forums in each branch area.
With all the rich data gathered, we are currently focusing on the delivery of services, changing/modifying existing services, and developing programs that address specific needs of these vital communities in our service areas. By sharing all the great work the Nuestras Raíces team does for our library community we hope to help and inspire other library systems to advocate and connect to their own Latina/o and Spanish-speaking communities.