Category Archives: REFORMA

Ethics & Diversity, Services to Spanish Speakers @ 2016 ALA Annual Conference

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I would like to share information about a program where I will be speaking during the 2016 ALA Annual Conference which takes place in Orlando, Florida, this week:

No Room at the Library: The Ethics of Diversity

Sunday, June 26
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
Orange County Convention Center, Room W105B
In support of ALA’s multiyear campaign of Libraries Transform, we want to foster dialog about inclusion and ethics in libraries. Key speaker, Loida Garcia-Febo, and a panel of thoughtful leaders, Anastasia Chiu, Jeffrey Souder and Sara Ahmed will facilitate audience discussion after the Ethics committee performs three different skits. In the tradition of “What Would You Do?”, we will strive to shed light on ethical dilemmas involving religious, cultural and LGBTQ issues. Reflecting on the recent resolution to ALA council, one skit will address potential Islamophobia and the ethical responsibilities of librarians to promote libraries transforming to a global and inclusive space.
Another program I would like to highlight:

Services to Spanish Speakers: Best Practices and Models from Latin America

Sunday, June 26
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Orange County Convention Center, Room W103B
Guest speakers from the popular online space Infotecarios, an online forum by and for Latino American librarians serving thousands of colleagues, will share innovative best practices and models to serve Spanish speakers in that region. Join us and learn how you can adapt these to serve your communities. Remarks by Miguel Garcia-Colón, Chair of the IRC Americas Subcommittee, and Loida Garcia-Febo, ALA Executive Board Member. Speakers: Myrna Lee Torres-Perez, Saul Martinez-Equihua and Santiago Villegas-Ceballos. 


I would like to encourage everyone to check the list of Diversity Related Events at ALA Annual 2016 in Orlando, here.




Call for Proposals – Librarians to the Mission: Preserving Cultural Heritage & World Traditions throughout Generations

I would like to encourage you to submit a proposal to present at the 12 Annual Joint Mini Conference & World Language Book Fair hosted by the REFORMA Northeast Chapter.

12th Annual Joint Mini Conference


Mini-World Language Book Fair

Friday, June 3, 2016


Free Library of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, PA


Librarians to the Mission: Preserving Cultural Heritage &

World Traditions throughout Generations

The Joint Mini Conference brings together the ethnic caucuses of ALA: American Indian Library Association (AILA), Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA), and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) and the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCALA) for a day of intellectual collaboration and networking opportunity for librarians. The event is free and is a meaningful day of professional development. The Joint-Mini Conference provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections and projects that serve newcomers and underserved populations in our communities.


How librarians and leaders are responding to the need of preserving not only the language, but the cultural and the world traditions of minorities groups in the United States, and what they are doing to gain cultural competence and promote culture awareness needed to embrace diversity are topics that need to be addressed. Nowadays, the librarian’s mission of preserving cultural heritage and traditions from one generation to the next is most important. Multi-generational programs are a must in order to attract minority groups into the library. Learning and sharing knowledge will provide librarians the tools needed to open a conversation of innovated outreach resources to engage the multi-ethnic community.


Presenters are encouraged to consider the theme from diverse angles. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:


●                     Collaboration with community organizations to bring in programs and services that serve minority groups

●                     Working with community partners to use technology in innovative ways to provide services to multi-ethnic users

●                     Sharing resources and skills with other libraries and partner organizations to support innovation or find solutions that address common issues and challenges.



Proposal, presentations and papers must be written and delivered in the English language.


Proposal should include:

1.     Title of the presentation

2.     Name, title, institution affiliation, and full contact information (including a valid email address) for each presenter

3.     Abstract of 300-500 words

4.     A short biographical profile of each presenter and a professional photograph for publication and PR in the JMC website


Proposal should be submitted electronically (as a single MSW document attachment) to the Joint-Mini Conference Chair, Mary Marques via email at with a copy to Tess Tobin and Alexandra Gomez Please include the subject heading: RNE 2016 Joint-Mini Conference.





Five official and three alternative proposals will be selected. Alternative proposals will be ranked and considered in place of the official ones in case substitutions are necessary. Proposers will be notified by March 18, 2016.



The RNE Joint-Mini Conference program is a 4.0 hours total. Presentations should run 20 minutes each, followed by 10 minutes question-and-answer session.

Presenters are encouraged to prepare a dynamic and interactive presentation. Also, presenters are encouraged to upload their PowerPoint presentations to Slide Share in order to be published on the RNE website.

We would like to invite you to view previous presentations listed on the RNE website, tab Mini-Conferences or visiting the following links:


Thank you,


RNE Joint Mini-Conference and Book Fair Planning Committees

Thank you! for the 2015 Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award

I am honored to have received the 2015 Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award from REFORMA. I would like to share my acceptance speech which I delivered on June 26, 2015 during the REFORMA Gala at the 2015 American Library Conference Annual Conference in San Francisco.

Buenas noches. Thank you. Gracias to the REFORMA Awards Committee, the nominators, and to Salvador Avila- thank you so much! John Ayala, Ninfa Trejo, Jose Aponte. Much love and appreciation.

Tonight, I stand on the shoulders of trailblazers like Elizabeth Martinez, our first Latina ALA Executive Director. Camila Alire, our first Latina ALA President. I am grateful to many others who paved the way for me to be able to accomplish everything mentioned on the award citation. Thank you. I recognize you tonight.  There are many names but I will mention,

Ben Ocon, a REFORMA Past President, he gave me my first leadership opportunity in REFORMA. Sandra Rios Balderrama was an immense joy to work with during my Presidency. My Northeast Chapter which supported my concept of a mini conference with all the ethnic caucus and we just had our eleventh annual conference! I truly value working in partnerships and as a team member.

I’ve been blessed with a prolific career. I started as a school librarian while in library school and went to be the chief of a library at the University of Puerto Rico after I received my degree. I have worked at great school, public and academic libraries and treasure my experiences.

My international community, I love you so much. I truly enjoy developing new opportunities for new professionals globally as I have done by co-founding IFLA’s New Profesionals in 2004!, and advocating at the United Nations for access to information. Coordinating global online continuing education in English, Spanish and Portuguese. It is an honor to be trusted enough to have been elected to a second term on the Governing Board of IFLA. Big appreciation to my mentor, Barbara Ford.

I must recognize my mother, Doña Febo, a librarian, who taught me the importance of intellectual freedom and the right of everyone to access information. She would let me read anything I wanted. My father, Don Garcia, showed me to be fearless, daring, atrevida, and shared his passion for communities with me.

Tonight, I also stand on the shoulders of my ancestors. My Greek family, my Taina Grandmother, my Spaniard great grandfathers, My AfroCaribbean great grandmother. I AM THEM. I am so proud of my heritage!

I am Loida, Global, Advocate, Passionate, Love mi Gente, Hija del Caribe, Del Sol Febo, de Atrevidos Garcia.

Thank you. Gracias. 

2015 Pura Belpre Award Winners

I am happy to share the list of the 2015 Pura Belpre Award Winners!

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

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.

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.

REFORMA National Conference IV

This year REFORMA National Conference IV takes place in Denver from September 15-18, 2011.  I am looking forward to meeting many national and international librarians serving Latinos and the Spanish-speaking. The conference program was just published on the conference website It looks spectacular. There are excellent sessions for archive\ library\museum workers in general. The program committee did a terrific job and I can’t single out any session!! However, I hope you understand that I must mention my program:  “Successful Partnerships to Serve Immigrant Communities Today” on Friday, September 16 at 3:45 p.m. at the Westin Denver Downtown, Lawrence B Room.

I would also like to encourage attendance to the following events:

Thursday, September 15 

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m

Bienvenidos/ Welcome Reception @ Westin Denver Downtown – Augusta Room

 8:15 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Noche de Cuentos: A Magical Evening of Tales @ Westin Denver Downtown – Tabor Auditorium


Friday, September 16

Nuestras Familias: Revolucionarios y Vidas Extraordinarias/ Our Families: Revolutionaries and Extraordinary Lives

Denver Public Library, Western History & Genealogy, 10 West 14th Avenue Parkway

Take free mall shuttle to Broadway & walk to entrance between 13th &14th Avenue; entrance to reception is on Broadway.


Saturday, September 17

7:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

40 Years of REFORMA:Commemorative Banquet & Dance

Westin Denver Downtown, Continental Ballroom • Ticketed event


** The official Twitter hashtag for the Reforma National Conference is #reforma2011, don’t forget to use it every time you tweet about the Conference.


American Library Association’s Resolution: Chronicle

On January 11, 2011, the ALA Council passed a “Resolution in Support of Requesting Congress to Reintroduce and Vote on the Dream Act.” This resolution was the result of an extraordinary team effort involving REFORMA members, ALA Councilors, various ALA units, the ALA Resolutions Committee and ALA Committee on Legislation.

Here is the link to “Chronicle of the process to the successful passing of a Resolution in Support of Requesting Congress to Reintroduce and Vote on the Dream Act,” describing the entire process.

Many colleagues asked me ‘How do you develop a resolution? How do you have a resolution passed by ALA Council?’ I’d say that there might not be a formula to have a Resolution passed, but I hope you find some pointers on my post @ REFORMA wiki, here.