[kids-lib] Report on Latinos in the library

Katie Anderson anderson_katie at oslmac.osl.state.or.us
Wed Mar 31 13:18:00 PDT 2010

Hello!  I just read Latinos and Public Library Perceptions, a report by Edward Flores and Harry Pachon.  You may download and read it online: http://tiny.cc/jid6m.
I recommend taking 5-10 minutes to read the Executive Summary on page 1, and review the tables on pages 17-20.  
Here are a few interesting findings:
Although Spanish language materials are of importance to Latinos, their perceptions of staff service are a stronger factor in terms of increasing visits than Spanish language materials.
Satisfaction with English language materials is more pivotal in increasing library visits than satisfaction with Spanish language materials. In addition, use of the library to learn English is the third biggest factor associated with higher library visits.
Satisfaction was high with programs for children (85.5%)
Among those who visited the library weekly or more, Latinos' top six reported reasons were:
To read or borrow books (69.1%) 
To take children (33.6%) 
To use computers (32.6%) 
To look for information (31.7%) 
To study or do homework (28.8%) 
To borrow movies (24.5%) 
Libraries also should invest in creating children's programs that improve fluency, such as summer reading programs.

Hopefully this will help you in planning children's programs.  And, for those of you who cannot afford to maintain large collections of Spanish materials, keep in mind that this report indicates that perceptions of the staff have a greater impact on increasing visits.

Katie Anderson, Library Development Services
* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *
Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301
katie.anderson at state.or.us, 503-378-2528
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