The Hailey Public Library is wrapping up a year-long, grant-funded initiative to strengthen its relationship with the Hispanic community and expand offerings to better reflect their needs and aspirations.
HPL was one of 300 libraries nationwide to receive a competitive American Library Association’s Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries grant, which came with $3,000 to support follow-up actions based on what staff learned. Library staff and a Hispanic advisors group hosted two informal listening conversations this summer at Balmoral Park in Hailey’s Woodside subdivision. Participants brainstormed dozens of suggestions for new and improved programs, collections and services for all ages. The advisors then reviewed and prioritized participants’ ideas for implementation in the next 4-6 months.
Project Director and HPL Program Manager Kristin Fletcher commented, “Hailey’s richly diverse population is over 30% Hispanic but we realized only a fraction uses the library’s services. Through this initiative we learned a lot about what barriers exist and ways to create a more welcoming environment and expand our collections, programs and services.”
HPL used funds to purchase almost 200 Spanish/bilingual books and rearranged the Children’s Library to prominently feature them. New programs include a free, six-week Conversacion de Ingles for native Spanish speakers taught by tutor Leonardo Padilla Sacha starting Jan. 21.
In February, HPL will host a monthly Spanish language movie night featuring well-known Latinx actors and directors, including special movies for kids. A monthly bilingual StoryTime read by Hispanic community leaders will also launch in February. This spring, HPL will offer a monthly Tertulia, a Peruvian word meaning an informal gathering with the purpose of sharing conversation and cultural experiences, often about books, movies or current affairs.
“We were honored to be chosen for this amazing opportunity and have learned so much from our Hispanic neighbors over the past year that we are eager to implement,” stated Library Director Lyn Drewien.
To learn more about the project and new offerings, contact Kristin Fletcher at (208) 788-2036 or visit www.haileypubliclibrary.org for more information.