Many public libraries in communities where Spanish is a language preferred by a significant percentage of the population have dedicated Spanish language collections and bilingual/ bicultural staff that provides library services and programs. In Oregon, the Latino population is growing faster than the national average, and nearly half of Oregon Latinos are bilingual (Oregon Community Foundation, 2016). In alignment with best practices, and upholding the core values of our profession, libraries dedicate funds and shelving space to Spanish language materials to serve the informational, educational, and recreational needs of Spanish-speaking communities. Libraries that are dedicated to developing and maintaining rich and diverse collections that support thriving and empowered communities demonstrate this commitment through a holistic effort encompassing community engagement, strong relationships with vendors, as well as active participation in professional associations both locally and internationally.

In my work as a bilingual/bicultural librarian, previously in California and currently in Oregon, I contribute to selecting and promoting rich and diverse Spanish language collections. As part of this work, I have been able to expand my knowledge of Spanish language materials while connecting with and learning from professionals locally and internationally. In this article, I will share my experience at three professional development events held in Mexico between 2012 and 2016: FIL (Guadalajara International Book Fair), CILELIJ (Iberoamerican Congress of Language and Literature for Children and Youth) and FILIJ (International Book Fair for Children and Youth). Lastly, I will highlight the benefits of being an active member of a professional organization like REFORMA, and working to develop and promote library resources and services within the Latino/Spanish-speaking community.

Author Biography

Patricia Morán is a Spanish Bilingual Youth Librarian for Multnomah County Library, develops and maintains relationships with the community, neighborhood organizations, and the great population served by the library. She has experience in selecting and promoting rich and diverse Spanish language collections. Since joining REFORMA in 2009, she has been a member of Bibliotecas Para La Gente, the Northern California chapter, and is currently a member of REFORMA Oregon.

Copyright statement

© 2017 Patricia Morán



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