Category Archives: Library services for Spanish speakers

Puerto Rican Heritage Month


We just celebrated Puerto Rican Heritage Month in NYC. For that reason, I would like to share some links about Latino literature:

Pura Belpre Award. Pura Belpre was the first Latina, Puerto Rican, librarian at the NYPL.

Latino Lit for Teens/ Libro por Libro. Latino authors writing for young adults.

Top 10 Latin@ Books 2015. Includes books in English and bilingual English/Spanish.

Latina’s 2015 Reading List. Selections for each month.




Summer Reading // Lectura de Verano

The other day I asked colleagues on my Facebook page for recommendations of books in Spanish to read during the summer.  I said I would post all the recommendations on my blog, and here they are:

Breaking grounds/ Abriendo caminos by Myrna Nieves

La Casa en Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

The Untold Tale of Victor Gerena by Edmund Mahony

The Five Acts of Diego Leon by Alex Espinosa

El nombre del viento -and- El temor de un hombre sabio by  Patrick Rothfuss

Flor de ciruelo y el viento by Rafael Acevedo

Postales by Frank Baez

La Sombra del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Patas Arriba. la Escuela del Mundo al reves by Eduardo Galeano

La Bruja de Portobello by Paulo Coelho

Contra el viento del norte by Daniel Glattauer

La Delicadeza by David Foenkinos

Mision Olvido by Maria Duenas

El lenguage de las flores by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

La libreria de las nuevas oportunidades by Anjali Banerjee

Signatura 400 by Sophie Divry

El tango de la Guardia Vieja by Arturo Perez-Reverte

Tegucigalpa by Cindy Jiménez-Vera

Everything from authors Eduardo Mendoza and Felipe Botaya.

Save the Date — REFORMA and ALA Free Webinar for Library Services to Immigrants & Access to Information

REFORMA and ALA PresentFree Webinar for Library Services to Immigrants & Access to Information

Taking Action: Legal Barriers to Library Services to Immigrants & Access to Information

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. EDT

REFORMA, ALA Washington Office, ALA Office for Library Advocacy and ALA Office for Diversity are partnering to present a webinar to support library workers facing various laws and regulations passed or being considered in various states and counties around the nation limiting library services to immigrants and access to information. The content of the webinar includes examples from REFORMA members who have dealt with these types of situations, action taken and recommendations based on their experience. REFORMA will share resources to help librarians to advocate for services for immigrants and multi-ethnic populations. The ALA Washington Office will share points about how to effectively communicate with elected officials and government agencies. The ALA Office for Diversity will present strategies and recommendations.

Speakers: Patricia Montiel Overall, Associate Professor at the School of Information Resources and Library Sciences and Affiliated Professor at the Mexican American Studies Department of the University of Arizona; Michelle Harell Washington, Director of the ALA Office for Diversity,  Emily Sheketoff, Executive Director of the Washington Office of the American Library Association and Loida Garcia-Febo, Chair, REFORMA Legislative Committee.

Save the date and join us on May 14. The link to access the virtual meeting room will be shared soon. Stay tuned!

Librarians Sound Off: Not a Lack of Latino Lit for Kids, but a Lack of Awareness

-Sharing an article published by School Library Journal-

Librarians Sound Off: Not a Lack of Latino Lit for Kids, but a Lack of Awareness

Some quotes from the article:

And as the United States population continues to grow more diverse—with Latinos being the most represented minority at 16%, according to the 2010 census—librarians continue to be instrumental in meeting the needs of the communities they serve. Many develop and create their collections according to their changing neighborhoods.

“How wise are librarians that they want to see all groups represented in their collections? They go the extra mile and work with the small presses,” REFORMA past president Loida Garcia-Febo tells SLJ.

Garcia-Febo, for example, actively encourages presses large and small to produce stories about Hispanics that portray “the true Latino experience,” in every skin color, economic status, and tradition. “And, from personal experience,” she tells SLJ, “I can say that publishers actually listen.”

And within ALA, librarians of any background should strive to become active in the many ethnic library associations, such as Asian Pacific American, American Indian, and the Black Caucus, Garcia-Febo says. “This is a complex issue and we must continue to bring it to the table, not only among ourselves, but also everyone in our community: nonprofit organizations, celebrities, and government agencies,” she says, adding that the more people involved in the cause, the more successful it could be.

Full article, here.

Diversity, Advocacy, Stress and Technology Addressed at JCLC

Sharing a summary from The 2nd Joint Conference Librarians of Color  published by American Libraries Direct, September 26, 2012.  Included, a link to NPR’s Tell Me More featuring JCLC and services to Spanish-speakers.

Diversity, advocacy, stress, and technology addressed at JCLC
Sanhita SinhaRoy writes: “Diversity, leadership, and community engagement were the three main themes at the plenary all-conference session at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, September 19–23, in Kansas City, Missouri. While each leader of thefive ethnic caucuses discussed how these three topics play a role within their associations, a few other common themes surfaced: branding, membership, and advocacy.” Other sessions covered the topics ofwelcoming new immigrants into your library, combating workplace stress, and all things digital. NPR’s Tell Me More program interviewed Loida Garcia-Febo about service to Spanish-speakers and mentioned the JCLC conference….
AL: Inside Scoop, Sept. 20–22; NPR, Sept. 26

Librarians Reach Out To Spanish Speakers @ NPR

Sharing a link to an interview I did with NPR about library services to multi-ethnic, Latino and Spanish-speaking populations.

Libraries Reach Out to Spanish Speakers

September 26, 2012

Librarians are facing a need to adapt to the rapidly changing makeup of America. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with international librarian consultant Loida Garcia-Febo about what it’s going to take to make libraries more accessible to Spanish speakers, and the significance of serving a multicultural landscape.

Library Services in Latin America – New Book!

Sharing good news, below. The book was born from a joint REFORMA and IFLA\ Latin America & Caribbean Section program titled “Successful Stories: Library Services in Latin America,” presented at the American Library Association 2010 Annual Conference. It is available in print and as an e-book.  I am very proud to have worked on this publication with my colleague Filiberto Felipe Martinez Arellano.

Library Services in Latin America

REFORMA and UNAM’s Collaboration Results in the Publication of an E-Book titled
Library Services in Latin America

Los Angeles—U.N.A.M. (National Autonomous University of Mexico), and REFORMA have collaborated on a new book regarding library services in Latin America. The e-book, Servicios Bibliotecarios en América Latina: tres casos prominentes / Library Services in Latin America: three outstanding cases, was published by the U.N.A.M.’s Center for Bibliographic Research in December 2011.

This collaboration between two energetic institutions resulted from the efforts of two innovative librarians, Loida Garcia-Febo, (REFORMA President 2009-2010 and Coordinator of the New Americans Program at Queens Library), and Dr. Filiberto Felipe Martinez Arellano (U.N.A.M.’s L.I.S. Research Center researcher, and 2008-2011 Section Chair of the International Federation of Library Associations /Latin American & the Caribbean section).

The e-book was born from a joint REFORMA and IFLA Latin America and Caribbean Section program titled “Successful Stories: Library Services in Latin America”, presented at the A.L.A. 2010 Annual Conference. Panelists and presentations were:

• Ana Lupe Cristán, Library of Congress, U.S.A.: Library of Congress reaches out to the Latin America library community/ alliance de los programas de cooperación de la Biblioteca del Congreso en América Latina;

• Marcia Rosetto, Universidad de São Paulo, Brasil, and Aparecida Da Graça Guimarães: Fundaçao Memorial da America Latina, Brasil: Virtual Library of Latin America, BV@L / Biblioteca Virtual deAmérica Latina, BV@L.

• Nítida Carranza, Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Honduras, and Denice Adkins, University of Missouri, U.S.A.: Promoting Reading in Tegucigalpa Public Schools with Bookmobiles/ Fomentando la lectura en las escuelas públicas de Tegucigalpa a través de la Biblioteca Móvil.
Dr. Martínez Arellano notes that the 2010 A.L.A. Annual Conference presented an “opportunity for Latin American librarians to highlight to their American colleagues serving Latino and Spanish speaking communities representative and innovative cases of library services developed in Latin American countries.” Likewise, Loida Garcia-Febo says, “The cases featured in the book are examples of initiatives to promote libraries, community engagement, and partnerships to Latinos and Spanish-speakers.

The decision to produce a bilingual e-book came rather organically. Dr. Martínez Arellano believes the book will serve to “spur other librarians to research and publish similar cases.” Ms. Garcia-Febo notes this as “an example of library associations partnering to further professional development for members.”

The book was published in December 2011 in Mexico, D.F. and is accessible at


Link to IFLA LAC

Librarians @ ABC – Tiempo TV show

Sharing links to my participation along with my colleague Manny Figueroa in Tiempo, a TV show on ABC (Channel 7 in NYC). Topics: libraries, building community, immigrants, Queens Library, Latinos and Spanish speakers. Loida Garcia-Febo

Tiempo – Segment 3

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Tiempo – Segment 4

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Libraries, Reading, E-books, Services to Spanish speakers and more @ CNN

Sharing links to interviews I’ve done – in Spanish – with CNN about libraries, reading, e-books and services to Spanish speakers.

Más allá de la Biblioteca: Premios a los escritores e ilustradores latinos. (Beyond the library: awards for Latin authors and illustrators)
Loida Garcia-Febo, REFORMA Past President represented ALA and REFORMA during an interview with CNN about book awards presented during the ALA Midwinter Conference 2012 in Dallas including the Pura Belpre. She also spoke -books, reading, printed materials and how libraries are working with publishers to increase e-book availability in libraries. (January 2012)


Los libros ¿cosas del pasado? (Books, something from the past?)
Loida Garcia-Febo spoke to CNN about e-books, reading, printed materials and how libraries are working with publishers to increase e-book availability in libraries.  (February 2012)

Both interviews are in Spanish. Thanks to ALA Public Information Office.

Pathways to Progress: Issues and Advances in Latino Librarianship

Just published! A terrific book about Latino librarianship in the Americas. The book, edited by John Ayala and Salvador Guerena and published by Libraries Unlimited from ABC-CLIO, features articles written by many library colleagues including yours truly. It is a must-have resource to stay up-to-date regarding advances and issues experienced by Latino librarians.

From the publisher’s website:

Spanish speaking or Latino groups in the United States can be Anglo, Chicano/Chicana (Mexican Americans), Chilean, Colombian, Cuban, Peruvian, or Puerto Rican. This collection mirrors the ethnic diversity of Latino population, providing a uniquely broad coverage of Latino librarians in America.

Emphasizing public, school, and academic libraries,Pathways to Progress: Issues and Advances in Latino Librarianship taps the leading minds of the Latino library world to provide expert discourse on a wide spectrum of library services to Latino patrons in the United States. This collection of articles provides an accurate, insightful discussion of the issues and advances in Latino library service.

Coverage of library service to the Latino community includes subjects such as special collections, recruitment and mentoring, leadership, collection development, reference services to gays and lesbians, children services, and special library populations. Contributors include library practitioners who are of Mexican, Chilean, Peruvian, Nicaraguan, Puerto Rican, and Cuban descent. Best practices are presented and explained in-depth with practical examples and documented citations.

• Provides representation of the various Latino and Spanish speaking communities in the United States
• Includes contributions from some of the leading voices in Latino librarianship
• Documents current developments and trends in librarianship