I attended an American Library Association (ALA) Association of Specialized and Cooperative Agencies (ASCLA) Webinar today titled “Creating a Latino Friendly Library.” It was an introductory webinar designed to help libraries wishing to reach out to Latino populations.
Many of the concepts were very basic ideas that my library is already doing, such as connecting with community leaders in Latino populated areas and scanning the community to identify opportunities for outreach. The stress on connecting with local religious organizations was a nice reminder, however. The most valuable tools I received from this webinar were the marketing tips for attracting Spanish speakers to library events. The need to use the word Gratis (free) in all publications is important due to the misconceptions Latinos have traditionally had with bibliotecas (libraries). The emphasis to put emphasis on the benefits of participating in library activities versus emphasizing the services themselves is a good practice to put into place for all library marketing materials.
The webinar instructor, Yolanda Cuesta, is a consultant and owner of her own company, Cuesta Multicultural Consulting. The webinar layout was intended to encourage audience participation with the use of polls and instant feedback. There were a number of technical glitches which contributed to the webinar taking a full 90 minutes instead of 60. It would have been helpful to have a handout to help illustrate the concepts Cuesta was stressing. I did come away with several “take-aways” that can be easily implemented, however, so I believe the experience was worth the cost.