The final report of the New York Statewide Spanish Language Outreach Partnership project �Spanish Language Outreach Connects New York’s Libraries with Communities,� funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation U.S. Libraries Program and WebJunction is on the New York State Library�s website and print copies will be available soon. The report is also posted to WebJunction.
Through New York�s participation in the Spanish Language Outreach Program, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation U.S. Libraries Program, WebJunction, the Mid-Hudson Library System, the New York Library Association and the New York State Association of Library Boards, the State Library continues its commitment to library service for people whose first language is not English. Because of the Spanish Language Outreach Program, New York�s library staffs are better trained and the state�s diverse population is even more welcome in libraries. Spanish speakers are more likely to find needed library services in public libraries and libraries of all kinds across the state.
The national Spanish Language Outreach Program began in 2004. Since then WebJunction has conducted state level training for library trainers and facilitated the WebJunction online community. The program�s goal is to help library staff sharpen skills and increase knowledge in how best to serve this growing population. Use of public-access computers is another focus of the program.
Through its participation in the program, New York�s public library system trainers conducted 48 workshops across the state and trained 756 librarians, library staff, trustees and graduate students in library science programs. The workshops teach participants how to connect with community leaders and learn what the library can do for the Spanish speakers in their community.
Nationally there have been over 342 workshops that have trained more than 5000 library staff members on how to better connect with this key demographic. The workshops have stressed the importance of the involvement of local community leaders and members to ensure the relevance of the program. Best practices are shared throughout the library community via WebJunction and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation U.S. Libraries Program.