SPANISH SERVICES LIBRARIAN
SPANISH SERVICES LIBRARIAN
When I began my work in the library in 2017, one of my goals was to find ways to increase services and programs to the Spanish-speaking community. Since then, I am partnering with local community organizations to provide and to avoid duplicating services.
My research based on the following inquiry question: How do teachers/professionals engage in culturally and responsive ways with Spanish-Speaking families and children? has helped me deepen this work.
I have learned through the research process that are variety of individual perceptions of how professionals see themselves as being culturally responsive, and how Spanish-speaking parents perceive the services that schools and organizations provide.
In one of my conversations with parents, I asked “Can you think about examples where the school or other organizations you are involved or have participated have provided opportunities for staff to learn from your culture, language, and ethnicity?” One parent responded, “One day in the school they celebrate the multicultural day, but is just about bringing a dish to share.”
Even though some families speak English as a second language, they want to be known as individuals and not being seen with “one size fits all” mentality.
“One day in the school they celebrate the multicultural day, but is just about bringing a dish to share.”
When I asked the question about examples of how her organization creates a culture where Spanish-speaking families feel they are listened to, and that their opinions are valued, a professional responded with some examples. At the end of our conversation she said that "even though the school makes efforts to host family events with the purpose of getting input from families, these are not well attended.” I asked my self why is this happening?
During my research I learned that parents want to be more motivated to attend events happening in their schools and their community. They feel that way to do this is to be involved in the planning process of activities and services geared toward them.
According to the 2016 American Community Survey in the United States, 40 million people of ages 5 and older spoke Spanish at home in 2016. These numbers show us the importance of finding ways to provide services and programs that are culturally responsive and also effective.
There are significant rewards and challenges in increasingly multicultural and multilingual communities, and the way schools and organizations value the diversity of families they serve can make a difference in engagement and participation.
The future of our children is everyone’s responsibility, and the more we engage families and respect their culture and get to know them, the better we can find ways to find solutions to the complexes that surround us.
I have learned through the Buell Leadership Program that I have a voice and that I can also encourage others also to share their voices. I learned that when we share our experiences, our dreams, our frustrations, we can see that we all are not so different after all.
I thank Buell, for the opportunity to grow as a person, but most significant as a leader with hopes and dreams for a better future for my community and our children. All our children!
Inquiring session with parents and their children