Spanish Language Outreach Program Overview
WebJunction's Spanish Language Outreach Program helps equip local library staff with knowledge and resources to reach out to Spanish speakers in their communities and increase their access to technology. The program's workshops provide library staff with information about proven marketing techniques, understanding cultural differences, providing technology training, and partnering with local community organizations serving Spanish speakers,
With funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, WebJunction began work on a collaborative pilot of the Spanish Language Outreach Program in August of 2004 with the help of state libraries in New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, and Florida. The pilot program conducted 37 workshops and trained 482 library staff members. Evaluation results of the pilot demonstrate that the pilot's workshops and trainers are having a positive impact. Based on the success of the pilot, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has provided additional funding to expand the program.
WebJunction is partnering with state libraries to make the Spanish Language Outreach Program available across the country over the next three years. Eight states are participating in 2006: Washington, Nevada, California, Georgia, Minnesota, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. 15 states will participate in late 2006 through 2007, and 17 additional states will participate from late 2007 through 2008.
The program begins with a Training Institute during which trainers hired by participating state libraries will become familiar with the program's curriculum. Following the Institute, trainers will utilize the curriculum to deliver workshops in their state. The library staff attending local workshops will learn how to develop an outreach action plan based on the curriculum and activities presented in the workshop.
In addition to providing on the ground workshops, WebJunction is fostering an online community of interest made up of library staff committed to serving the needs of Spanish speakers. The program utilizes discussion boards (now closed) for sharing ideas and resources among participating libraries, trainers and other WebJunction users. A growing collection of best practices, case studies, and resources on WebJunction is also available to facilitate similar outreach efforts in any library in the country. In early 2006, WebJunction will launch an online version of the program's workshop curriculum designed to reach library staff unable to attend a workshop.
The program's resources are available at: www.WebJunction.org/Spanish. To find out more about the results of the pilot program and WebJunction's plans to build upon the pilot program during the next phase of the project, check out our Future Directions document.