For immediate release | October 12, 2010

Celebrate cultural heritage @ your library

CHICAGO - October marks the conclusion of both Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) and the beginning of Polish Heritage Month. Public libraries are among the first American institutions immigrants turn to for help in learning how to read, write and speak English.

The American Dream Starts @ your library initiative has awarded $5000 grants to 75 public libraries in 24 states to develop and implement innovative literacy services for adult English language learners and their families. This initiative is funded by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The following American Dream libraries are recognizing and celebrating Hispanic and Polish Heritage Month.

The Homer Township (Ill.) Public Library serves a growing number of Spanish and Polish speaking adults. The library developed Adult Language Learners @ your library to introduce the Polish and Spanish speaking public to the resources at the library. In addition, the bookmobile and its bilingual staff bring multicultural materials directly to the community.

The Wauconda (Ill.) Area Public Library District works to meet the needs of the Hispanic and Polish community through its Learn a Language @ your library initiative. The library offers ESL class for native Spanish and Polish speakers and provides free access to Mango Languages, a Web-based language instruction program. The library supplements the online Mango service with printed and multi-media resources in Spanish, Polish and Russian.

Charlotte Mecklenburg (N.C.) Library offers Avandzando @ your library. Advancing @ your library features computer classes in Spanish. These classes provide information about computers and the internet, communications training and workforce skill development. In addition, participants learn about the valuable bilingual resources at their library.

The Pasquotank-Camden Library of Elizabeth, N.C. recently launched Cultivating Adult Literacy @ your library. This program is in collaboration with the Nuestra Casa De La Comunidad Hispana (La Casa). This innovative program focuses on building the reading and English speaking skills of adult native Spanish speakers. Each month, the library’s bookmobile will visit La Casa to distribute bilingual and Spanish language materials and conduct conversational workshops.

The Irving (Texas) Public Library developed Conversations @ your library to reach the community’s large Spanish speaking population. In addition to offering this program at the Central Library, the library’s bookmobile will bring these resources to apartment complexes, early education centers and community-based organizations offering adult education and ESL programs.

The American Dream Starts @ your library is administered by the Office for Literacy and Outreach Services (OLOS).

Dollar General Literacy Foundation is a Partner in the Campaign for America’s Libraries, ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.


Megan McFarlane