Aula Máxima es la biblioteca y también lugar de recreo del espíritu.   - José Vasconcelos



Outreach & Media\Tours of the library for Spanish speakers: Why & how

Orientaciones: Library tours for Spanish-speakers

Our estimable Youth Services librarian at Cedar Mill Community Library, Nancy Spaulding, recently arranged a visit by a large class of Spanish-speakers studying health promotion.

This was an ideal group for a library tour. Dedicated as they are to sharing crucial information with their neighbors, these promotores (yes, a few were male) are not only likely to need library resources--they also are in a unique position to promote library use by other Spanish-speakers.

A tour? In Spanish?

If your library hasn't gotten around to hiring a bilingual staffer, you need not shy away from leading such a group through an orientación-a tour. Your limited or absent Spanish can be an advantage if you remember that libraries exist not to be explained, but explored.

Give a guy a fish, etc. Show him where to catch a fish, blah blah blah . . .

Okay, that axiom breaks down when you substitute 'jet airplane' for 'fish', but you get the point. Instead of a tour where everyone stands back and listens, why not push them toward a rewarding interactive experience?

Our tour began with a quick explanatory walk-through of the library's main sections, and after some time for discussion we sent the participants out in small groups to find specific items on their own. What better way to learn what's in the library and how it's arranged? Your tourists will make their own discoveries and perhaps start developing the sense of ownership that distinguishes the most enthusiastic patrons.

After the hunt, you can reconvene for a group discussion of how and where the materials were found. Choose items from this list that are appropriate for your library (please send further suggestions to flaco@sol-plus.net), and consider throwing in a couple things you don't have-this could lead to discussion of perceived gaps in your collection and the avenues for patron input in the acquisition process.

List of items for a library resource hunt
You are invited to print this list, cut it up, insert the strips in fortune cookies (optional), and distribute them among your visitors to begin the safari:

Una película en español
A Spanish-language film
Un diccionario español-inglés
A Spanish-English dictionary
Un periódico local
A local newspaper
Un recetario o un libro sobre nutrición
A cookbook or nutrition book
Un video para niños
A video for children
Una revista en español
A Spanish-language magazine
Formas para pagar impuestos
Tax forms
Algo que se trata de computadoras
Something about computers
Un libro duradero para niños
A board book for children
Música latina en CD o cassette
Latin music on CD or cassette
Recursos para el aprendizaje del inglés
English study resources
Un manual de reparación de carros
An auto-repair manual
Algo sobre su país
Something about your country
Un libro de consulta que no sale de la biblioteca
A reference book that doesn't leave the library
Un folleto con el horario de camiones
A bus schedule



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