Volume 29, Number 3, Fall 2007

WebJunction Offers Training and Tools for Reaching Out to Spanish Speakers

Laura Staley, WebJunction Spanish Language Outreach Program

WebJunction's Spanish Language Outreach Program helps equip local library staff with knowledge and resources to reach out to Spanish speakers in their communities and increase access to technology provided by the libraries. Library staff participating in local workshops learn how to develop an outreach action plan based on suggested outreach activities presented in the workshop and are asked to make a commitment to implementing three outreach activities.

To date the program has trained over 3,500 library staff members in twenty-two states about employing proven marketing techniques, understanding cultural differences, providing technology training, and partnering with local community organizations serving Spanish speakers. WebJunction is partnering with state libraries to make the program available across the country between 2006 and 2008.

WebJunction is also fostering an online community of interest made up of library staff committed to serving the needs of Spanish speakers. There is an active set of discussion boards for sharing ideas and resources and a growing collection of best practices, case studies, and resources on WebJunction.

In March 2006, WebJunction launched a free, online course based on the program's curriculum to reach library staff unable to attend an in-person workshop. In addition, the program recently launched a series of one-hour, monthly webinars focused on best practices for serving Spanish speakers. Another exciting addition to WebJunction’s resources is the written materials and audio files used in Infopeople’s Survival Spanish for Library Staff course.

For more information visit the WebJunction Spanish Outreach Web site.