New radio campaign bridges “opportunity gap” for Latinos by promoting library use

Contact: Megan Humphrey

Campaign Manager



For Immediate Release

October 14, 2008

Sample materials available online for libraries

Chicago, IL—To help bridge the “opportunity gap,” a new radio campaign encourages Latinos to connect with their local librarians and access the free materials and resources available through their libraries.

In partnership with Univision Radio, the nation’s leading Spanish-language radio group, the American Library Association (ALA) launched the campaign to respond to data that shows Latinos are less likely than other groups to use their local libraries. The American Library Association has reported that only half of Latinos (49 percent) used their library in 2006, lower than the 63 percent for whites and 64 percent for African Americans.

The new en tu biblioteca (“at your library”) campaign, which is part of ALA’s Campaign for America’s Libraries, communicates how libraries create opportunities for Latino adults and their children. The campaign positions librarians a trusted source who can help library users obtain to accurate information about health, entrepreneurship and small business management, education, finances and more.

“More than any other free public resource, libraries represent the possibility of opportunity for everyone by providing equal access to information, knowledge and resources,” said ALA President Jim Rettig. “Since one in four of us living in the United States in 2050 will be Latino, it’s imperative that we let Latinos of all ages know about the opportunities their local libraries offer.”

Univision Radio and ALA’s public service announcements (PSAs) are airing in 10 of the top Latino media markets. The markets are Chicago, Austin, Houston, San Antonion and El Paso, Texas, Fresno, Calif;, Houston, Miami, New York, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Additional Univision stations may air the radio ads.

“If you’re looking for free access to information on a wide range of subjects, there’s no better person to turn to than your librarian,” said Gary Stone, President and Chief Operating Officer, Univision Radio. “And we’re pleased to bring that message to the millions of listeners across the country who tune in to Univision Radio everyday.”

“It is so important to build awareness among the Latino community that libraries offer access not just to books or the Internet but to librarians who are ready to help them identify the resources and materials they need to build a successful future,” added Mario M. Gonzalez, ALA Executive Board member.

In addition, a new Spanish-language Web site for the public has been created to support the messages of the PSAs. The Web site,, contains general messages about the resources available at libraries. Tools for librarians, including customizable bookmarks, posters, ads and web buttons, are also available on the site, specifically at Libraries in all markets are encouraged to use the materials.

The PSAs, which feature the voice of Univision Radio personality Javier Romero, are also available for preview from the site.

In developing the new campaign, ALA has engaged Metropolitan Group, a strategic and creative consulting agency that helps its clients build a just and sustainable world. Metropolitan Group has created and implemented strategic communication, resource development, multicultural communication and organizational development programs for numerous library clients across the country.

ALA leaders have consulting on this project have included Camila Alire, Mario Ascencio, Carol Brey-Casiano, Mario Gonzalez and Luiz Hererra and others, as well as public libraries in key markets.

The Campaign for America’s Libraries, ALA’s public awareness campaign, highlights the value of libraries and librarians. For more information on the Campaign, visit or

The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA's Library Champions, ALA's highest level of corporate members, who support public awareness on behalf of America's libraries.