the Full-Service Homework Center in Your Library
Cindy Mediavilla is a consummate librarian and an
acknowledged authority on homework centers. Several years of examining
programs around the U.S. have gone into her new book, a tremendous
nuts-and-bolts guide for librarians looking to set up or improve
a homework center of their own. Creating the Full-Service Homework
Center in Your Library is rich with descriptions of a wide
variety of centers--some well-funded, and others operating on a
shoestring or no budget at all--and timely contact information.
You can order the book from its publisher, the American Library
Association, at HERE.
Here's an excerpt:
Castroville Library Homework Center
Castroville Library, Monterey County Free Libraries, Castroville,
Shirley Dawson, Branch Librarian
Sally Childs, Homework Center Coordinator
Tuesday, 3:00 to 7:00 P.M.; Wednesday, 3:00 to 6:00 P.M.;
and Thursday, 3:00 to 7:00 P.M.
All twelve of the county library's Homework Centers are
funded by the Foundation for Monterey County Free Libraries.
The part-time Homework Center coordinator runs the program
under the supervision of the branch librarian and is assisted
by several volunteers.
Although students of all ages are welcome to use the Homework
Center, the program has been most popular with middle- and
The Homework Center welcomes young people into the world
of libraries by offering them assistance with their information
needs and homework assignments.
|Mediavilla, Cindy. Creating
the Full-Service Homework Center in Your Library.
Chicago: American Library Association, 2001.
Reprinted by permission of the author.
afternoons a week, the entire Castroville Library becomes
an after-school homework center as teenagers descend on
the small branch requesting homework assistance and a quiet
place to study. To encourage the kids to ask for help, the
Homework Center coordinator greets every student and asks
what projects each one is working on. The library's two
Internet stations are a big draw, as are the three networked
computers that provide access to Social Issues Resources
Series (SIRS), CD-ROM encyclopedias in English and Spanish,
a magazine index, and Current Biography. Because many of
these kids do not have computers at home, they also make
good use of several word processors that were donated to
the library specifically for typing school assignments.
homework helpers are recruited from the California State
University campus in nearby Monterey Bay. As part of the
university curriculum, CSUMB students are required to provide
thirty hours of community service while taking "service
leaming" classes. In addition, computer science students
are required to work as community "technology tutors."
Not only do these university students offer experienced
homework assistance, but they serve as powerful role models
for kids who never before dreamed of attending college themselves.
Often, the older students spend as much time answering questions
about college as they do helping the younger kids with homework.
preparation is an important component of the Castroville
program. The local high-school migrant-education counselor
often uses the library for after-school tutoring and Scholastic
Aptitude Test (SAT) study sessions. Every January, the Homework
Center coordinator and the migrant-education counselor invite
college financial aid advisors to the library to explain
the financial aid process and help students fill out the
1999, the Castroville Library Homework Center received YALSA's
award for Excellence in Library Services to Young Adults.
2. ALA annual conference workshops: Establishing
Library Services for Spanish-Speaking Communities
From: Susana Hinojosa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: REFORMA program at ALA Annual, Sat. June 16th
REFORMA Children's and Young Adult Services Committee
is sponsoring the following series of programs at the ALA Annual
Conference in San Francisco.
Note: These programs were inadvertently omitted
from the preliminary program. Please distribute the information
Are you a librarian needing to provide services
to Spanish speaking patrons? Don't know where to start? Then have
we got something for YOU!
BIENVENIDOS! Establishing Library Services for Growing
Spanish Speaking Communities.
Even if you don't speak Spanish you CAN do it! Learn from the experts!
Bilingual storytime programs, crafts, "where" and "what"
to buy for Spanish-speaking children and adults, outreach, literacy
...we've got you covered. Librarians who do not speak Spanish are
This series of programs is scheduled Saturday, June
16th. Location TBA.
Part I- Children's services
9-10:30 a.m. Collection development and
Learn "where" and "what" to buy for your new
Spanish language children's collection. We'll also show you how
to do a bilingual story program. Handouts will be provided.
Presenters: Maria Mena, LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library,
Tallahassee, Fl; Diana Borrego and Lorena Flores, San Jose Public
Library, CA; Maria Kramer, San Mateo City Library, CA; Armando Ramirez,
Biblioteca Latinoamericana, San Jose Public Library, CA.
11:30-12:30 a.m. Latino
Crafts are always a welcome program. Learn how to do easy, fun crafts.
Handouts and easy-to-follow instructions will be provided.
Presenters: Diana Borrego and Lorena Flores, San Jose Public Library,
CA; Ana Pavon, S.F.Public Library, CA
Part II - Adult Services
2-4 p.m. Collection Development.
Answers to the why, what, where of Spanish language material acquisiton
for adults: fiction, nonfiction,"fotonovelas" and magazines,
Presenters: Rita Torres, San Jose Public Library, CA; Elissa Miller,
Arlington Co. Public Library, MD; Ina Rimpau, Newark Public Library,
NJ; Diana Morales, Houston Public Library, TX; Ben Ocon, Salt Lake
City Public Library, UT
Outreach and programming.
What kinds of programs and outreach efforts are most effective in
helping Spanish speaking families become loyal library users?
Presenters: Priscila Leni, San Jose Public Library, CA; Jon Sundell,
Forsyth County Public Library, Winston-Salem, NC; Marcela Villagran,
Multnomah County Public Library, Portland, OR.
3. The Críticas
Vicki Novak of the Maricopa Country Library District
in balmy Phoenix, AZ won a couple books, including one from Cuba,
by correctly identifying Flaco's reviews in the first issue of Críticas,
the new quarterly guide to Spanish-language booksellers, distributors,
and titles. The magazine has mounted its main story, a practical
librarians' guide to Spanish-language bookbuying, on its site at
If you want to win a couple kids' books (and you aren't Vicki Novak)
then get your hands on a copy of the magazine and tell me the titles
reviewed therein by your fellow SOLista Barbara Bibel of Oakland.
Oh, right--don't be Barbara Bibel, either, if you want to win the
4. Kevin Starr ponders diversity
California's State Librarian did an unusual, Ranganathan-esque
thing when appointed to the post: he decided to go to library school
(are you reading this, James "Coke Is It" Billington?)
The noted historian's op-ed piece in yesterday's Los Angeles
Times begins, "The future of California, according to
Census 2000, will not look like a scene from 'Gidget' or the cover
of a Beach Boys album. Rather...it will, in cultural terms, be predominantly
Latino and Asian."
He's not talking exclusively about the Golden State,
of course. You can read "California Resettled" at http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/20010421/t000033970.html
(and if you do so within 13 days, it'll still be free for the reading...)
5. Carlos Fuentes
In town to receive the 2001 Los Angeles Public Library
Literary Award, Carlos Fuentes gave a reading today in the Central
Library downtown and dazzled Flaco and a packed house with his passion,
artistry, and wit. He read from works old and new--including, from
the recent La frontera de cristal story collection, his
sketch of José Francisco, the language-saturated Chicano who smuggled
literature back and forth across the U.S.- Mexico border on his
motorcycle 'so that everyone would get to know one another better...love
one another a little more.'
Fuentes had harsh words for Carlos Abascal, Mexican
Secretary of Labor whose complaints about the novel Aura
being assigned at his daughter's school led to the dismissal of
a 23-year-old teacher. The great writer condemned the firing, but
sarcastically thanked Abascal for making Aura a bestseller
throughout Mexico: "I've asked him to become my literary agent!"
A final thought from the great trilingual author
"I always welcome contact with other cultures: it enriches