I am a Reference Librarian and Latinx Outreach Coordinator at the McMinnville Public Library.
Tell us a little bit about the community where you work.
McMinnville is a thriving city of about 33,000 residents. As an agricultural center, McMinnville attracted businesses and residents who worked in that industry. Although it is known today for being surrounded by vineyards, that is a fairly recent development. Grapevines weren’t routinely planted in the area until the 1970s. McMinnville is the largest city in Yamhill County, Oregon.
Can you tell us about some programs or services that you’re excited about at your library?
Our library offers a variety of programs for adults, teens and children. Some of our programs have been attended and appreciated by the community for years such as Story Time, Teen Game Night, Poetry Night and our incredible Bookmobile. We are known for our incredible Dia de los Niños, our annual celebration of children, culture and books we also received great community feedback about the new initiatives such "Hispanic Heritage Month Read and Dine" and "Mac Reads" which is a city wide book club.
Tell us about the favorite part of your position and why.
The favorite part of my job is the ability to mix intellect and passion. As a Reference Librarian I assist patrons with their literary needs and I help them to succeed in their research projects and other tasks that require guidance, compassion and information context. As the Latinx Outreach Coordinator I exercise my passion to help the community acting as an advocate and as a liaison between the community and public officials in our city.
Are there challenges that you face in your work?
I have been fortunate enough to count with a incredible team of co-workers and leadership, and the constant help of our community partners.
Can you share some advice or tips you have for working with and/or providing services and materials for the Spanish-speaking / Latino community?
My advice is, get involved! Networking with agencies serving the Latino community in your town are the key that open doors to all community events and also build a strong understanding on how your city works so you can multiply that notion among your Latino patrons and serve them with the best information and resources available. The library is often a safe haven to the Latino Community, it is the first place people will visit to gather information in case they need an specific service. We need to be prepared to answer questions and provide patrons with the right tools to succeed. These steps are the beginning of a solid library and patron relationship.