H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant recipient named

H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant recipient named

City of Mesa (Ariz.) Library is the 2003 recipient of the H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant presented by the American Library Association (ALA).

The award, a citation and $3,500 donated by H.W. Wilson Company, is given to a library organization whose application demonstrated the greatest merit for a staff development program designed to further the goals and objectives of the library.

The City of Mesa Library instituted “Spanish that Works,” an interactive Spanish language course specifically developed to help the library staff serve the growing Spanish-speaking community better.
It was an eight-week, interactive language course developed by a professional educator specifically for library employees.
Emphasis was on oral rather than written expression of practical, library specific words and phrases.
Classes were offered free of charge and conducted at the Main Library during regular works hours to enable as many staff members as possible to participate.

The training addressed employee’s need to better assist Spanish-speaking patrons with limited English skills in taking full advantage of library materials and services.
The library has an ongoing monthly lunchtime Spanish practice and has a waiting list for phase two.

“City of Mesa Library’s program ‘Spanish that Works’ had a clear, reasoned approach to providing a language training to staff,” said Chair Ethelle S. Bean.
“The organization and documentation of the application impressed the jury. We felt that it was a training program that could build and grow over the years and be replicated at other libraries.
It was a program targeted to solve a specific problem."

The H.W. Wilson Grant will be presented Tuesday,
June 24, during the ALA/CLA joint Annual Conference in Toronto.